“The crowds up there know how to have a good time and I’m more than happy to facilitate that,” says Marti Pellow as he sings the praises of North East audiences.
The charismatic Wet Wet Wet frontman will open this summer’s series of concerts at Bents Park, South Shields, on Sunday, July 14 and he says audiences can expect a set list of all their favourite songs.
“This gig is about entertainment, not education,” said Marti whose many hits include Goodnight Girl, Love Is All Around, Sweet Little Mystery and Julia Says.
He added: “I don’t have a planned set list that I rigidly stick to.
“I read the audience and if people start singing a song, I’ll sing it for them.
“Some audiences want up tempo and some want the slower ones and it’s important to give them what they want.”
As well as enjoying huge success and millions of record sales with Wet Wet Wet, Marti has built a name for himself as a solo artist and theatre star, with roles in musicals such as Evita, Chicago and Blood Brothers.
Next month’s South Tyneside Festival is one of only a handful of summer dates, including Glastonbury, Marti will be doing in between recording his next solo album and he says he enjoys being able to juggle his theatre career with being a solo artist.
“Theatre and gigs are different disciplines, but it’s all storytelling,” said Marti in his distinctive Scottish lilt. “Chicago is very music heavy, while Blood Brothers is more of a play with music. But the point of reference is always the music and how it makes people feel.”
Marti says the power of pop music to evoke memories is also never lost on him.
He explained: “As a songwriter you go about your daily business and someone will come up to you and say Goodnight Girl was playing when they got married or when they gave birth.
“ It becomes the back drop to people’s lives, which is a real privilege.”
.South Tyneside Festival concerts are free but you can buy a Priority Plus Ticket in advance from 0844 844 0444 and also at The Word in Market Place, South Shields