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Marc Almond promises hits and surprises at upcoming Cambridge gig

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Marc Almond
Marc Almond

The synth-pop star, a seasoned hit-maker, will be flying solo at the Corn Exchange next month.

A highly successful and long-standing pop singer who continues to flourish, Marc Almond performed a farewell show in September last year at the O2 with Soft Cell, the popular synth-pop duo he founded in the late 1970s with David Ball and who remain best known for their 1981 worldwide smash, Tainted Love.

So now the singer’s equally rewarding solo career has once again come to the fore and the 61-year-old star, who has sold more than 35 million records and collaborated with the likes of Gene Pitney and Jools Holland, will be performing songs from across his impressive repertoire of hits in Cambridge next month.

How are you? What have you been up to recently?

I’m really well thank you. I have just finished a tour with Jools Holland, which covered over 50 dates since last year.

What can we expect to see and hear in Cambridge? Will it be a selection from your entire back catalogue? Which of your hits do you particularly enjoy doing on stage?

The audience in Cambridge are always amazingly warm and generous. They can expect a night of hits and surprises – it will be great fun. I always love hearing the audience sing Say Hello Wave Goodbye back to me. It’s a song that belongs to the fans more than it does to me now.

What do you like about performing live? How do you prepare for a gig? Do you have a pre-show routine?

The attention and challenge of it. I prepare for gigs by rehearsing a lot, and then trying to get as much sleep as possible. Before a show I eat a bland meal, and then lots of honey and tea.

Are you working on material for a new album? Do you still enjoy making music as much as you always have?

I am working on a new studio album for BMG with producer Chris Braide, which is due for release in February, 2020. It is really different and I hope people will like it as much as we do. I enjoy making music now more than ever.

Do you have any other projects in the pipeline? Any ambitions left to fulfil?

I always have lots of projects bubbling away in the background, but in the immediate future I am doing lots of live performances, working on a film and also a multi-media musical of [2015 solo album] Against Nature. I’ll be releasing the album with Chris Braide in February, 2020, and we will be doing a big show in London to celebrate the release.

What are some of the standout memories from your long career?

Being awarded with an OBE takes some beating...

What are your memories of working with Gene Pitney and your other duet partners? Are there any current artists with whom you’d especially like to work?

He was a real gentleman and star. We met for the first time in Las Vegas, which was extraordinary. There are quite a few great current artists who I love, though not sure I would want to work with... I suppose Christine and the Queens would be an interesting collaboration – their last album was amazing.

What do you make of the current state of popular music? Synth-pop seems to be all the rage again!

Really exciting music at the moment, especially the way that cultural and gender boundaries have now been blurred. Synth-pop never really went away.

How was the Soft Cell reunion last year? Is that really it now as far as the duo are concerned?

Being back on stage with Dave was touching, surprising and terrifying. Selling out the O2 Arena in London was a special way to say goodbye to Soft Cell fans. We finished on a great high. I don’t think we could ever top that, so always walk away when the going is good. The live show recording will be out on DVD on May 24.

Marc Almond will be appearing at the Cambridge Corn Exchange on Tuesday, May 7, at 7.30pm.

Tickets: £32.50-£63. All tickets include a £3 booking fee. Visit cornex.co.uk.

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