Paul Carrack Announces New Album ‘These Days‘, plus UK tour dates

 

Paul Carrack returns with a brand new studio album and is ready to reach new heights with ‘These Days’, released on 7th September on his own record label, Carrack-UK. 

In addition to the release of These Days, Paul will embark on an extensive 30-date UK tour for 2019, which begins on 18th January in Liverpool’s Philharmonic Hall, and ends on 24th March at The Lowry in Salford.

‘These Days’ is Paul’s 17th album, a run that began way back in 1980, but which has been building real, independent momentum since he formed his record label in 2000 with the landmark ‘Satisfy My Soul’ album release.

Before then, Paul’s breakthrough moment came when he wrote and sang ‘How Long’, the much-covered 1974 classic from his days with Ace, and was the voice of ‘Tempted’ from his tenure with Squeeze. Then came such hits with Mike + the Mechanics as ‘The Living Years’ and ‘Over My Shoulder’, the latter a co-write with Mike Rutherford. Not to mention that another co-write, ‘Love Will Keep Us Alive’, was covered by the Eagles and won a hugely prestigious ASCAP Award as Song of the Year.

Diana Ross, no less, covered Carrack’s co-write with Nick Lowe, ‘Battlefield’, and as an in-demand collaborator, Paul’s decades of distinction include sessions with the Smiths, Roxy Music, B.B. King and countless others, culminating in a request from Eric Clapton to join his touring band. That rare honour comes up-to-date in the summer of 2018 with their homecoming performance in London’s Hyde Park. 

Since the turn of the century, instead of making other artists look great, Paul has quietly built a huge, loyal fan base, an audience that not only devours his albums, but turns out to see his frequent, extensive tours in their thousands. He’s done that the only way he knows; making high-quality, accessible pop-soul with unmissable hooks and lyrics that say something about all of our lives.

That’s truer than ever on ‘These Days’. The album’s stunning line-up features Paul on keyboards and guitar and regular bandmate Jeremy Meek on bass, joined by Robbie McIntosh (Paul McCartney, Pretenders, Norah Jones, John Mayer) on lead guitar and drummer Steve Gadd, Paul’s Eric Clapton bandmate who has graced the work of everyone from Steely Dan to James Taylor.

 As if their exemplary playing wasn’t enough, the album’s horn section is hand-picked and overseen by the mighty Pee Wee Ellis, the American saxophone ace who was an integral part of James Brown’s shows and records of the vintage ‘Cold Sweat’ era. Five tracks on ‘These Days’ have lyrics by Paul’s friend, former Squeeze bandmate and consummate wordsmith Chris Difford. 

As usual, the new songs started in Carrack’s home studio, but they came to life in a different and exciting way this time. “I don’t write a song and then do a demo,” he explains. “It’s a little nugget of an idea and I start messing about with it, chipping away and it becomes something. Usually, that’s completed and that becomes the album.

“In this case, I took a lot of the songs quite a way, but then we decided we wanted to make it a bit more performance-based and with some other influences. I’ve been playing with Eric for about five years now, and I just mentioned it to Steve Gadd, was it something he might be interested in, and he was very keen.” 

When Gadd said he’d be coming through the UK on the way home from a European tour with Chick Corea, Paul seized the moment and booked into Air Studios in London for three days to cut a dozen tracks as a band, before taking it back to his home studio.

Plenty of the songs, from the title track to ‘Where Does The Time Go’, ‘The Best I Could’ and ‘Dig Deep’ strike a glass-half-full, pensive mood about the long road travelled and the adventures still to come. “When I think about it, we’ve come a long, long way,” as Paul sings on the typically catchy and beguiling ‘Amazing’.

There was another moment of reflection when Carrack came to choose the striking cover image for the album, as he rifled through a box of his late father’s photographs. “When you go through these things, you realise you’ve come a hell of a long way,” he muses. The gorgeous image is of Paul’s brother. “That’s us on holiday,” he says. “We’re living it large there; I think it’s probably the Isle of Wight. Man, that was exotic back in the day. We had pretty humble beginnings.

‘These Days’ is grown-up pop music made by, and for, people who’ve had the ups and downs that life unfailingly provides. “It’s about getting to an age, and appreciating what you’ve got,” says Carrack. “I hope it will resonate with people who are going through the same stuff. It’s not being frightened of it, and just trying to enjoy it.”

‘These Days’ track listing:

 

1. Amazing

2. Life In A Bubble

3. In The Cold Light Of Day

4. Dig Deep

5. These Days

6. You Make Me Feel Good

7. Tell Somebody Who Cares

8. Where Does The Time Go?

9. Talk To Me

10. Perfect Storm

11. The Best I Could

 

The full list of Paul Carrack’s European tour dates are as follows:

 

2018

19 Aug            Henley-on-Thames      Rewind South                        

13 Oct             Enschede, NL             Muziekcentrum Enschede      

14 Oct             Amsterdam, NL          Theater Carré             

15 Oct             Zwolle, NL                 Theater De Spiegel                 

17 Oct             Arnhem, NL                Musis Parkzaal Arnhem         

18 Oct             Eindhoven, NL           Muziekgebouw Frits Philips  

 

2019

18 Jan              Liverpool                     Philharmonic Hall                              

19 Jan             Liverpool                     Philharmonic Hall                              

20 Jan              Leeds                          Leeds Town Hall                   

25 Jan              Birmingham                Symphony Hall                      

26 Jan              York                            The Barbican                          

27 Jan              Gateshead                   The Sage                                            

01 Feb             Perth                            Perth Concert Hall                             

02 Feb             Hull                             Hull City Hall            

03 Feb             Cambridge                  Corn Exchange                                  

08 Feb             Bournemouth             Pavilion                                              

09 Feb             Plymouth                     Pavilions                                 

10 Feb             Swansea                      Brangwyn Hall                                   

14 Feb             Nottingham                 Royal Concert Hall                

15 Feb             Milton Keynes            Milton Keynes Theatre          

16 Feb             Margate                       Winter Gardens                      

22 Feb             Edinburgh                   Edinburgh Festival Theatre    

23 Feb             Dunfermline                Alhambra Theatre                  

24 Feb             Glasgow                      Royal Concert Hall                

01 Mar             Southend                     Cliffs Pavilion            

02 Mar             London                       London Palladium                 

03 Mar             Birmingham                Symphony Hall 

08 Mar             Guildford                    G Live                        

09 Mar             Aylesbury                    Waterside Theatre                              

10 Mar             Cardiff                        St David’s Hall                      

14 Mar             Sheffield                     City Hall                                

15 Mar             Leicester                      De Montfort Hall                               

16 Mar             Brighton                      Brighton Centre                                 

22 Mar             Middlesbrough            Middlesbrough Town Hall                 

23 Mar             Harrogate                    Convention Centre                             

24 Mar             Salford                        The Lowry                 

 

Tickets for all dates are available to buy at www.paulcarrack.net/tour/ .

 

www.paulcarrack.net / @PCarrack / facebook.com/carrack.net