TOM BAILEY was the front man and songwriter for The Thompson Twins.
Alongside his wife Alannah Currie and Joe Leeway, the trio ruled the world’s airwaves in the ’80s, and they played Live Aid with Madonna, before splitting.
Tom is supporting Culture Club at Newcastle’s Metro Radio Arena on November 17 and Glasgow’s SSE Hydro on the 22nd.
Will we get the Thompson Twins hits on the tour?
Yes. I don’t want to disappoint the audience, and I love hearing them sing along. I’ll slip in the odd track from my new solo album Science Fiction too.
You’ve just toured America. How’s it gone?
Great. We’ll do 80 to 90 dates this year which is on a par with our touring schedule in the ‘80s. It’s tiring, but I now say no to parties (laughs).
What are the audiences like?
They come wanting to see you, so they’re invested and we don’t have to win them over. But we work hard. Before going on stage I say: “Guys, it’s us against the world” to get us psyched up.
Where do you live?
In France, where people assume I’ve spent the last 30 years lying by a pool. I live in a mountain village where there is no such thing as a pool. It’s a retreat for me. It’s space.
Does that need for privacy come from the Eighties?
It was a great ride, but I became tired of what the Thompson Twins did to my personal life. I feel it bought me the freedom, though, to be myself now.
Why is the original line-up not together?
Alannah and Joe used music as a means to go on and do other things after we split. I’m the only one who wakes up every morning wanting to make music.
Are you a good collaborator?
Working with someone else is time-consuming but it takes you down new paths. Doing stuff on my own is much quicker and focused. I can record, literally, on bus journeys or in corridors.
Are you good at telling others it’s not working?
With someone like Debbie Harry it’s about giving confidence to try a new direction without straying too far. When she wants to try freeform jazz or something it’s about saying “Let’s make a pop hit instead.”
What do you make of the business today?
We used to tour and lose money, but it sold albums. Now it’s the other way round. Today, pop songs are written by whole teams for audiences with shorter attention spans.
You have 24 hours left to live. How do you spend it?
I’d withdraw from the world and spend the day in the deepest meditation possible. When you’re born you cry and everyone’s happy. When you die you’re the one who should be happy while everyone else is crying.