Ringmaster General Interviews And Press

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R&R Life - Sunderland’s calling for Dave Stewart’s circus

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R&R magazine’s Andy Barker caught up with musician Dave Stewart as he prepares to take to the stage in the city

ROLL UP! Roll up! Sunderland rock star Dave Stewart is preparing to bring his ‘circus’ of international musicians to the Empire Theatre for an unforgettable show.

Dave chose Sunderland Empire Theatre as a special place to launch his new album The Ringmaster General, as part of a mini UK tour which kicks off in the city on September 3.


He is bringing with him an enviable gang of international performers including Michael Jackson’s last guitarist Orianthi, who is currently touring with Alice Cooper, and saxophonist Candy Dulfer who Dave recorded the hit soundtrack single Lily Was Here back in 1989.


It will be an emotional visit to his home, coming two years after rushing back to see his father before he passed away following a fall. Amazingly it will be Dave’s first ‘proper’ gig on home turf and the first time he’ll walk through the doors of the Empire since watching rock band Free perform there when Alright Now was a hit first time round.


The new album launch in Sunderland continues a Nashville odyssey for Dave Stewart who has recorded an incredible five albums in the last two years either solo or collaboratively.


His time in Nashville came out of the blue. Dave recalls: “It all happened by accident. I was stuck in London when the flights were cancelled after the Icelandic volcano. The only flight I could get out of the UK was to Nashville. While I was there I went exploring and ended up in the studio and met some great people and performers.”


Despite recording and performing with the like of Mick Jagger, Bono, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Tom Petty, Stevie Nicks, Bob Dylan, Bryan Ferry and even Nelson Mandela, Dave had never explored the musical hotspot of Nashville.


“Over the years I’d explored the likes of Memphis, Detriot, Mississippi and Chicago but managed to bypass the home of country music. I suppose back in the 80s, country music was something I would not have been drawn to but I have fallen in love with Nashville and it seems to have fallen in love with me.


“I didn’t have any contacts in Nashville. I didn’t really know anyone but booked into Blackbird Studios there and things started to happen and people stopped by which I am really open to – you get to discover new things that way. I gave myself the name of Ringmaster General as the studio became a bit of a circus then the top hat came in and we had an image for the album.


“I started to think about where I should play. Then it came to me – why not start at the Empire in Sunderland where it all began. I didn’t even know if they put gigs on anymore. I checked out the website and saw they did so asked my agency to see if they could get me a gig there.


“I saw a picture of the theatre on the web and thought wow – it looks great – I love the old places with red velvet seats like somewhere you’d see in Paris.


“I can’t wait to bring my circus into town. Everyone in the band is a phenomenal player and I have a back catalogue of great tunes to draw from plus some new songs I am really excited about. I am now at the point of just having great fun.”


It’s been a long journey since those early days busking in pubs and clubs in Sunderland before securing a record deal in 1971 as part of the folk-rock band Longdancer, who released two albums.


The band broke up and Dave found himself living in London getting by gigging and selling reggae music on a market stall. In the mid-70s he started working with Sunderland songwriter Pete Coombes and was soon introduced to Annie Lennox. They formed a band which became The Tourists going on to record three albums scoring a couple of top ten hits with So Good to Be Back Home and I Only Want To Be With You along the way.


Pete Coombes took ill on a tour of Australia and on top of some band disharmony they split. Dave and Annie kept their links with record company RCA and went on to release the avant-garde album In The Garden as a duo under the new name The Eurythmics.


Remembering the early days Dave said: “Annie and I were massive fans of all the punk bands. We used to live above a record shop in London that sold nothing but punk and reggae while in the basement bands like The Adverts and The Vibrators use to rehearse. We loved the Sex Pistols and The Clash too but musically and creatively we didn’t really feel part of it.


“When the punk movement collapsed, new wave and then the new romantic thing came along and still we just didn’t feel part of a scene. We decided to stay away from everything for a while and follow our own instincts by effectively cutting ourselves off from the outside world.


“The two of us became one in a way and created a strange sound which became the underground album In The Garden which we recorded with avant-garde record producer Conny Plank who had worked with Kraftwerk.


“The record company were not impressed and although the record came out it didn’t sell. The next album we did on our own. We had already bought the suits which became our image at the time and walked in to the local bank to get a bank loan. We managed to convince them we were sane people and we got £5,000 which we spent on a Teac recorder, a space echo machine, a new synth and a mixing desk. We then set about recording what became the Sweet Dreams album.


“The record company didn’t give us any money – we had to get the money and essentially do it ourselves. I remember playing it to the record company and they just didn’t get it.


“They put out three singles which got nowhere. Then finally Sweet Dreams which was ignored until a radio station in Ohio in the states got hold of it and when it was played the phones went crazy. At the time the DJs all talked together and rang up the label in America and said you have to put this single out. They didn’t even know who we were.


“It finally got back to London that it was spreading through the commercial radio station network and the rest is history. By the time we got over there it was number one. MTV had also just started and when we came out with the video of Sweet Dreams – all based on Orwell style imagery – America went crazy for it.”


The Eurythmics went on to be one of the biggest bands of the 1980s selling millions of records before going their separate ways in 1990 after a heavy schedule of recording and touring. They reunited for the Peace tour and album in 1999 before returning to their solo careers.


Now the former Bede and Barnes Junior School pupil is making the trip back to Sunderland which will also be a poignant one as Dave and his brother John plan to mark the anniversary of their father’s death with a private spreading of the ashes ceremony in the city during his visit.


Then back to work and who knows, maybe another five albums in the coming two years for the father of four.


Dave mused: “It’s not exactly work is it really – digging the glass out of the old furnace at the old Pyrex works – now that’s work.”


Creative rebirth for Sunderland

Sunderland businessman Paul Callaghan is not the only mover and shaker predicting a creative rebirth for the city.

Dave said: “There have been big changes like becoming a city and the university growing and all that stuff, but I think there is a huge change going to happen over the next 10 years and it will have a lot to do with the creativity and the mindset of the people who are now running businesses and working in Sunderland.

“I think they will shape a new conception of Sunderland – it will become one of the great creative hubs – not just in music but in terms of places to go and things to do and see.”

Source: R&R Life

Musicradar - A whirlwind 10 days that yielded not one, but two albums


Dave Stewart has a unique perspective on the 10 days he spent in Nashville in 2010, a whirlwind period that yielded not one, but two albums (2011’s The Blackbird Diaries and the upcoming The Ringmaster General, due out 4 September). “I came to town and became sort of infectious,” he says.


Hearing his own words, he chuckles, then says, “The whole experience I had in Nashville was amazing for me, ending up doing duets with Alison Kraus and working with all kinds of artists. People would pop into the studio and say, ‘What’s going on in there?’ and they’d wind up singing backing vocals. It became a music party. So I became infectious, and now I’m hoping to be more of a virus.”


Stewart hadn’t planned on recording in Nashville; in fact, he wasn’t even supposed to be there. Stranded in London due to the clouds of ash caused by the eruption of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano and unable to catch a flight home to Los Angeles, he wandered into a vintage guitar shop and purchased an old acoustic once owned by the country and western star Red River Dave. The next day, a flight opened up – with a change-over in Nashville. Stewart, by now embued with the spirit of Red River Dave, hightailed it to Music City.


Once there, an adventure unfolded, with Stewart setting up shop at John and Martina McBride’s Blackbird Studios and freewheeling his way through 10 days of sessions that included a core group of the town’s A-list players. Stewart literally wrote and recorded songs on the spot, aided by a diverse assortment of artists, including Stevie Nicks, Alison Krauss, Martina McBride, Colbie Caillat, Orianthi, Joss Stone, The Secret Sisters, Jessie Baylin and Diane Birch.


Both albums fuse country, rock, blues, bluegrass and R&B, and the results are quirky, soul-stirring and thoroughly engrossing. For a fascinating (and sometimes surreal) inside look at the proceedings, there’s the new documentary, The Ringmaster General, premiering next week (Wednesday, 22 August) at the Belcourt Theatre in Nashville. The film mixes real-life moments with staged re-creations of situations that amount to a breezy, intriguing and wildly entertaining portrait of a career artist who isn’t afraid to close his eyes and roll the dice. And if a vodka martini is involved, so much the better.


You can watch an exclusive video preview of The Ringmaster General above. In the following interview, Stewart talks about the what it’s like to watch himself on film, whether he’ll record again in Nashville and why that town’s Hermitage Hotel is a great place to hang one’s hat (it involves coconut water and 60 bottles of wine).


During the making of these two albums, what did you discover about yourself as a musician?


“I always knew that I was very spontaneous, and things came quickly to me. But I think I was a bit lazy as a guitar player and didn’t try to push myself. I didn’t put myself out there like, ‘Hey, I’m a guitar player.’ But when I started playing with those guys in Nashville, it was a nice kind of jolt, because that’s what they do. It’s all they do.


“They didn’t know what to expect from me, but the minute we started playing, it was like, ‘Oh, right. This is what he does.’ You can see it in the documentary, at the end of the first day. We played three or four songs, kind of rock-blues guitar stuff. I think they might have been wondering, ‘What’s he doing to do? Is he going to do some sort of electro thing?'”


Similarly, after the fact, what did you learn about yourself in watching the documentary? Was it strange to see yourself going through the process on film?


“It was, yeah. It was interesting – it’s kind of like a mirror. Some of it was happening in real time, and some of it was kind of staged, but it was mimicking the truth of what really happened in my life. My manager was saying, ‘What’s going on? What’s he up to now?’ And my wife was like, ‘Where is he? He’s supposed to be here.’ [laughs] It was more my business manager who was freaking out: ‘What the hell? He never told me he was going to Nashville. I’m getting all of these bills from Blackbird Studios!’ That sort of thing.


“But that’s exactly how I am. It was interesting having it unfold before my eyes. I am very driven, and I’m also very… eccentric. But there’s a total love for the creative process and seeing something through to the end. Watching the movie, I can see my own mind working. I’m kind of making the movie in my head as I’m living it.”


Did the spirit of Red River Dave stay with you throughout the sessions? I was fascinated at how you bought the guitar in England that belonged to him and you found all of these items of his in the case.


“Oh yeah, Red River Dave. That was such a weird thing. I think I said this in the movie, that I like to go down side roads. If I’m in Jamaica, I’m never in a tourist spot; I’m usually in an odd, off-the-beaten-path place. The Red River Dave guitar, I saw it on the wall. It was kind of an odd shape, and I was like, ‘Let me play that one.’ So I played it and it sounded great, so I bought it.


“When I got back to my hotel, I started reading all these things. Then I started listening to these scratchy MP3s – I got sort of protective and nostalgia for this time in history. When I say ‘nostalgic,’ obviously I had never been where he was, but it reminded me of my hometown of Sunderland. We all learned folk songs to get into the folk clubs. I was learning Dylan songs and blues, but I learned loads of old English and Scottish folk songs, which were very similar to country songs – songs about real people and fisherman, you know what I mean?


“I got this emotional, nostalgic feeling, and then when I got to Nashville and met all of these characters, particularly the guys in my band, I had a funny feeling that took me back to my early days, the camaraderie, everybody swapping songs and stories and that sort of thing. And what was nice was, the Nashville guys were fascinated by me because, growing up, they were listening to The Beatles and the Stones, The Kinks and The Jam, The Clash – and, of course, I knew that stuff by heart. It was a great swapping of tales and songs.”


There’s footage of you going into the Ernest Tubb Record Shop, which is such a cool store. Did you pick up any special items there?


“Yeah, yeah. I picked up these whole vinyl collections of various singer-songwriters, mainly early stuff. A lot of folks I didn’t know much about. So many great storytelling records. Obviously, there were a lot of Johnny Cash rarities. There was this weird movie that Johnny Cash was in that was dubbed in German. He must’ve tried to bury it. He plays this crazy guy who keeps a woman hostage while he robs a bank. It’s called Five Minutes To Live. Have you ever seen it?”


No, I’m going to have to seek that one out.


“It’s weird, it’s got guns and it’s real scary. It’s like Clockwork Orange or something. It was before its time in a strange, American way. So yeah, I scoured the store out.”


There’s a great scene where you’re in the bath at the Hermitage Hotel, and the front desk calls up to say they’re working on the dozen bottles of coconut water you requested. What did they think of you there?


“I think they realized I’m pretty eccentric. [laughs] They would see all of these people come in to go up to my room – Martina McBride, Jessie Baylin. They got the picture: ‘He’s an artist. He’s got a lot of different things going on.’ They were very sweet. Last time I left, I asked, ‘Can I store 60 bottles of Ringmaster General wine in the cellar?’ They were fine.”


Having made two albums now in Nashville, would you consider going back to record?


“Oh my God, yeah. I’ll make my next album there in exactly the same place with exactly the same guys. It might sound different. And then I’ll make my next album there – I’ll be taking other people with me. I’m going to do a couple of very special things that have to do with Nashville and the fusion of country music.


“In fact, what I’m probably going to create is my own show. It’ll have different artists on it with me and my band. I’ll probably interview the artists who come on. I did something like this for HBO. I interviewed Bono and The Edge for three hours, and I interviewed Stevie Nicks. It should be interesting. I’m looking forward to getting that started.


“It’s all part of what I like doing – experimenting with music. It’s always worked well for myself or Mick Jagger or Tom Petty or anybody I’ve worked with. People like the fact that they can step outside their own skin for a minute and then step back in. It’s like looking through the other end of the telescope.”

Source: Musicradar

Daily Mail - Dave Stewart is still making sweet dreams at 60


For many rock stars, there comes a time when the temptation to take life a little easier proves hard to resist. Nobody, it seems, has mentioned this to Dave Stewart.


The man who made his name with Annie Lennox in Eurythmics is hurtling towards his 60s at the speed of Usain Bolt.


Stewart is a restless spirit. He now lives in California with his family, but plans to celebrate a watershed birthday next month with a new solo album, a UK tour and a homecoming concert in his native Sunderland.


‘Until three months ago, I wasn’t even thinking about my 60th,’ he tells me. ‘I sometimes think I look a bit old these days, but I’m not obsessed with age. In my head, I feel 27.’


In the past 12 months, Stewart has been heavily involved in a slew of albums. His new solo effort, The Ringmaster General, arrives hot on the heels of last year’s The Blackbird Diaries.


Both were made in Nashville, as was Devon singer Joss Stone’s career-revitalising LP1, which Stewart co-wrote and produced.


Then there was a record with Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks, plus the side-project SuperHeavy, a star- studded effort featuring Stewart, Joss Stone, Mick Jagger, Indian film composer A.R. Rahman and reggae star Damian Marley.


The secret, says Dave, is speed and spontaneity. ‘I didn’t have any finished songs until I went into the studio. I wrote the lyrics in tea breaks.’


When Annie Lennox first met Stewart in London in the Seventies, the first thing that struck her was his eccentricity.


The pair became lovers as well as bandmates and, even as the romance floundered, they kept writing together. ‘It’s hard for me to say whether I’m eccentric or not,’ Dave muses.


‘People say it’s good to think outside the box. Well, I don’t even see the box. That’s why it was so great when I found Annie: she was the first person to think my crazier ideas weren’t so crazy after all.’


Stewart’s new record is a far cry from the poised, electronic pop of Eurythmics. A love letter to American roots music, it is steeped in blues, folk and country, with five of its 11 tracks duets between Stewart and younger, female stars.


In addition to collaborations with Alison Krauss and Joss Stone, it features a stunning cameo from female rock guitarist Orianthi Panagaris, a Greek-Australian virtuoso who was in Michael Jackson’s band.


‘When I was 14, my idols were blues players,’ says Dave. ‘But I played the folk clubs, too, and there’s a strong link between the folk songs of the North-East and old-style country and blues. It’s all about story-telling.’


Stewart still sees Annie Lennox on his fleeting visits to the UK, though he maintains the duo are unlikely to work together in the near future. ‘The truth is we don’t talk about the band. We’ve both got children, so we talk about them instead.’


Stewart is now gearing up for an emotional gig at Sunderland’s Empire Theatre next month — the first time he has performed in his hometown in 44 years.


‘The Eurythmics never played in Sunderland, so my last show there was in a folk club at 16. The first gig I ever saw was Free, with the late Paul Kossoff, at the Empire. Starting a tour there will be epic.’

The Ringmaster General is out on September 3. Stewart starts his UK tour in Sunderland the same day (davestewart.com).

Source: Daily Mail

Spark Magazine - Back On Home Turf

As you probably know by now if you’re a regular visitor and listener to Spark, we are Exclusively Sunderland, but that doesn’t mean that our audience is limited to the city. One ex-Sunderland man who uses this site to keep in touch with his old home town from his London and LA homes is rock star Dave Stewart.

After his days as a Bede School pupil and kicking around Barnes Park and Roker beach, Dave moved to London as a teenager in the 70s to pursue a career as a musician. He met Annie Lennox, with whom he formed Eurythmics and had massive worldwide hits such as Here Comes The Rain Again and Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This). Three decades and over 100 million album sales later he is still highly prolific in all kinds of creative fields; one of his latest projects is producing the new Deadmau5 video which, he says, is “a huge epic video with lots of special effects”.


Next month, on September 3rd, he returns to his home town to play the first of a four-date UK tour to promote his new album, The Ringmaster General, which is also released that same day. Recorded in just five days, it has what he describes as “a kind of rock blues, country blues, but a bit psychedelic” sound to it. The fact that the two dates coincide is no accident, as he told us when we spoke to him from his LA home last month.


“I asked the record label when was the best time to release in England and they said, ‘Probably the first week in September’ and I simultaneously asked the promoter if we could get the Sunderland Empire and he said ‘We can, on September 3rd’. So it was perfect.”


It’s a long way from the early days as a struggling artist, trying to make his way in the industry. On a visit back to Sunderland from London to see his dad in the late 70s, Dave and Annie got a chance to try out their newly-formed partnership. “We weren’t known as Eurythmics at that time, it was just that we’d formed a duo. We hadn’t recorded Sweet Dreams or any of this stuff. We just played about four songs in a room above an Italian restaurant, I think it was, in Holmeside. But nobody really knew what it was or who we were, and we were playing very weird songs at that time.”


So how did this working class lad from Ettrick Grove become the world famous and multi-award winning artist he is now? “When I was a kid I used to be knocking around on my own; my mam had moved to London and my dad was at work. So I was just on my own in the house and learning to play the guitar. I was a bit of a loner, and a bit out there, you know. In every town there’s a few odd-ball characters, and I was one of them! And then I got an opportunity to go to London, signed with Chris Blackwell, and then I got to go on tour supporting Elton John, and you start to see a bit of the world and you go off on this big adventure.”


Things are very different these days, of course, and the industry that Dave knew then is changed almost beyond recognition. “It’s a complicated time for bands in the last five, seven years, compared to before. When the internet arrived in a big way about twelve years ago I did lots of talks about how everything has changed and it’ll never be the same again, and it’s true.” It’s a great way for bands to get their stuff out there? “But how do you get the eyeballs to go and see it? You type something in a search engine and it comes up with twelve thousand things. How do you get people’s attention? In the past you’d play locally, then you’d drive to London and play some gigs, and you’d slowly build up a following, and the album gets played, you get more of a following and you build up slowly. I can see how some bands now get stuck at a certain point. [The internet] can be a good way to market yourself, but it can also give you a false sense of what’s happening.”


Ever the innovator, though, Dave is doing his bit to help new singers and bands. “I’m launching a thing in America next year about songwriting, which will be on TV and the web.”


And he has set up a competition for his UK tour, giving artists the chance to win a 30-minute support slot at each of his gigs. “You have to have written your own songs, and record them yourself. I’m interested in original material and singer-songwriters. It’s kind of the opposite to American Idol and X Factor and things, it’s more like, where is the new person we haven’t heard that’s carved their own little niche? There’s gonna be somebody in their bedroom somewhere writing this great song. It’s interesting for me to see and hear those artists, you know?”


As well as winning a support slot at Dave’s gig, the prize also includes a mentoring session with him before the show and follow-up contact via email, as well as £100 to cover costs. All details of the competition can be found on Dave’s website, davestewart.com.


So, is he looking forward to coming home again and playing the Empire? “I think the gig is going to be a kind of celebration of spirit. And then afterwards I think there’ll be a bit of an explosion on the town!” You can buy Dave’s latest album, The Ringmaster General, from September 3rd.

Source: Spark Magazine

The Journal - Magazine Scan With Track By Track

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The Journal - Interview

Before he postponed his UK tour, Dave Stewart talked to David Whetstone about his Wearside memories.

ON a grey mid-week teatime on Tyneside it’s a pleasure to hear the voice of Dave Stewart, radiating sunshine from thousands of miles away as he enjoys an early breakfast in LA.

(This, of course, is well ahead of last night’s announcement that his four-date UK tour, which was to have begun in Sunderland on Monday, has been postponed due to “film commitments”.)

Avocado on toast is Dave’s chosen first meal of the day, which I’d say is an unlikely legacy of his upbringing on Wearside.

But the man best known as one half of Eighties band Eurythmics insists that while you can take the boy out of Sunderland, you can never take Sunderland out of the boy.

He says he can’t wait to perform at the city’s Empire theatre in a gig marking the launch of his latest album, The Ringmaster General.

Ahead of the planned gig he is reminiscing in glowing terms about Wearside days at the footy, on the beach and in the park – and, more significantly, about all the little pubs and clubs where you could hear good live music played.

In that sense, he says, Sunderland was like a little Nashville where The Ringmaster General and its predecessor, The Blackbird Diaries, took shape.

Laugh if you will, but Dave’s in wistful mood and looking forward to taking to the Empire stage with various North East friends and relations in the audience.

“It’ll be the first time I’ll have played there as myself, the first what I’d call proper gig,” he says.

“We did play Newcastle City Hall, as The Tourists, and I remember it was the day my dad retired from work and he and about four or five people he’d worked with came backstage. It would have been 1978.”

Not long afterwards The Tourists morphed into Eurythmics, propelling Stewart and then girlfriend Annie Lennox into pop stardom.

Actually, it’s perhaps due to the Eurythmics publicity material that I’m surprised to hear Dave Stewart chatting away so amicably. He was usually portrayed as the moody one, hiding behind hair, shades and the arresting Ms Lennox. Chatty was something he did not look.

But back to those halcyon days of football and music in the North East.

“I was always trying to get in the back door of folk clubs when I was too young and sometimes I’d get to play a couple of songs,” he says.

“But all the people I’d play with were four or five years older than me and they’d go off to college in London or Liverpool, leaving me in Sunderland.”

It seems he was one of the bright ones in class, passing the old eleven plus exam at Barnes Junior School but then passing up the chance to go to a more academic school in Durham in favour of the local Bede Grammar School where his mates went and where football was his overriding passion.

“I played for the school team and I’d play for hours with my mates. Then on Saturday it was all about the football results.

The team was Sunderland, of course, and he has memories of visiting the old Roker Park stadium when he was small.

“It was always so full that they’d pass the kids to the front.”

His parents didn’t worry about his football fanaticism and seem to have been happy to let their younger son pursue his passions.

“They started breaking up when I got to grammar school so they were a bit distracted, but when I broke my leg playing football my brother brought a guitar into the hospital.

“When I left hospital all I could think about was music.”

Big brother John was into the blues and Dylan, and Dave became similarly intrigued. John, who went to Liverpool to study law but wound up in the film business, may well be hauled up on stage at the Empire.

Reflecting in poetic terms on his happy-go-lucky Wearside days, Dave says: “Your memory, when you look back on your childhood, is a mixture of tiny moments and epic moments, such as when you see a sudden bright shaft of sunlight fall on Penshaw Monument. I have some amazing memories of those days, like climbing the Cat and Dog Steps at Seaburn or sleeping out in Mowbray Park.”

London eventually claimed the precocious youngster, as later did Hollywood where the father-of-four lives with his second wife, Dutch photographer Anoushka Fisz.

Often portrayed as a dedicated gadget man, Dave is an innovative soul with a finger in many pies and seemingly boundless energy, possibly boosted by the yoga, pilates and swimming he says forms part of his daily routine.

He seems impossibly busy, writing, recording and making films while also penning songs for other artists including another North East musical icon, Bryan Ferry.

He’ll be 60 on September 9 but is seemingly undaunted by the prospect, saying: “You never really think about your age when you’re running around, doing what you want to do.

“But I suppose I am quite amazed that I am so active and fit. I’ve never been fanatical about my health or my diet because I like a balance of all things really.

“I’m in pretty good shape and probably working better than I’ve ever done.”

Despite his Wearside musings, he says he’s one for looking forward. There does seem to be a lot in the offing, including the series of films he plans to make in Nashville where he finds echoes of the folk traditions of the North East (and now, perhaps, that postponed tour).

It’s a life, he says, of “orderly chaos” which, if it begins with avocado on toast, tends to end with a vodka martini at 7.30pm. “That’s the time of day when I tend to say, ‘That’s it’.”

Except, of course, when he’s on tour and a different routine sets in.

A final word on old flame Annie Lennox. “Annie and I exchange emails and we usually have dinner together when I’m in London,” he says.

“People always say, ‘Wow, are you getting back together?’

“But we don’t really talk about Eurythmics. We talk about children and things happening in our lives and usually end up laughing hysterically. We’ve been through so much and there’s so much to gossip about. Yes, I’m looking forward to this. It’s going to be bedlam.”

Ben Phillips, Sunderland Empire general manager, said: “We are disappointed not to be welcoming Dave Stewart to the city next week, but look forward to seeing him back in the venue next year.” Anyone with tickets can hold on to them until a new date is finalised or opt for a refund at the point of sale.

Source: The Journal