Pop icon Rick Astley is preparing for a “walk down memory lane” in Sheffield – and wants you to join him.
The 80s’ star is back with a new album and tour, but is promising some of his classic songs too.
His career began in 1987 when his debut single Never Gonna Give You Up reached number one in the UK, before enjoying success across the world, reaching the top of the charts in a string of other countries, including Australia and the USA.
The following two years saw Rick dominate charts around the globe – in the UK, Rick was in the top 40 every week for the first six months of his career.
Further hits followed, including When I Fall in Love, Whenever You Need Somebody and his second US number one, Together Forever.
However, in 1993, aged just 27, he retired from the music industry to concentrate on his family.
But, 10 years later, he was back
“The last eight to 10 years I have been gigging again” says the 49-year-old Lancastrian, speaking from his home studio.
“I’ve been very lucky to travel all over the world – Australia twice, South Africa twice. I am lucky I got to that the first time around.”
“I had a few hits that mean things to people. I have been very lucky,”
I recognise people want to walk down memory lane – and I am happy to hold their hand and do that.Rick Astley
Now he is heading out on the road again with his first major UK headline tour in four years, on the back of his latest, yet-to-be-released album,
“The new album is built around songs,” he says.
“I am a singer, but at the end of the day, I want to sing something I have a connection with.”
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And he is hoping people will come along to see him perform some of the new songs – as well as the hits.
“I have been in a really good position in the last few years,” says Rick.
“People are more open to going to live gigs then they have ever been before – seeing something live iss the one thing you can’t copy.”
“In the 1980s, it was records, but people’s lives are changing, People are into going and seeing live music.”
And, unlike some artists, Rick is more than happy to turn back the clock and belt out his 80s classics.
“It’s my duty to play my old hits and I have no problem with that,” he says
“It’s my name on the ticket, I should be plyaing Never Gonna Give You Up, it’s part of the agreement with people buying tickets.
“And because I retired for a while, it’s fun, it doesn’t feel tired – I did 15 years where I didn’t sing any of those.
“I also recognise people want to go and reminisce and walk down memory lane – and I am happy to hold their hand and do that.
“Nostalgia can be portrayed as being a dirty word, I don’t think it is.
“We all crave it somewhere., music, movies, old photos.”
And Rick is realistic about the success of the new album.
“My main thing is for me to do it,” he says.
“I’d love the world to hear it and love it and for it to go all over the world, all over the radio, but I am realistic.
“I am aware of how lucky I was before. There has to be some talent and a lot of hard work, but, at the end of the day, it’s being in the right place at the right time, I accept that.
“I’m not expecting to sell loads of copies this time, but it’s nice to do it and to get out for a little tour and play new songs – and various people around me say I am singing better than I ever was,
“I had my 15 minutes of fame. I can’t expect to ever have that again, the world has moved on, I have moved on, but you never know, all It takes is one film producer...”
Rick Astley plays Sheffield City Hall on Monday, April 11.
For tickets, priced from £19.50, visit www.sheffieldcityhall.co.uk