added: 23 Feb 2009
interviewed by: Georgina Littlejohn, Marco Gandolfi
Martin Fry - ABC
THE LAST few years has seen an abundance of 80s pop bands reforming and touring hoping to regain some of that chart glory they revelled in more than 20 years ago.
ABC, who hit the big time in 1982 with their album Lexicon of Love, will perform it in its entirety at the Royal Albert Hall on April 8th, 27 years after it first entered the charts.
But for lead singer Martin Fry, this is not what many would consider a comeback because unlike his former contemporaries, he's always had the Look of Love for music. Music News caught up with Martin for a chat and shared some Earl Grey in the Landmark London hotel.
MN: What do you make of this recent 80s revival and do you worry that despite the fact you've continued performing throughout the years, you'll be accused of jumping on the same bandwagon?
I'm really comfortable with where I've been because I know where I'm going. Lexicon of Love is a classic and that's the reality and that's why it feels good to perform it in its entirety. But I have been playing lots of shows so I'd quite like to be described as jumping on the 80s bandwagon, that would be good – but it wouldn't be true.
MN: How did the show at the Royal Albert Hall come about?
Simon Moran from SJM rang, I've known him for years, he makes a good living from promoting Take That and Oasis and people like that, and said he really like the Lexicon of Love album and did we fancy doing a show purely based round it with a full orchestra.
Then we got the BBC Orchestra and Trevor Horn, who produced the album will introduce it and it's come together really nicely, sometimes things are just meant to be. And it's not often that pop artists get to go out and perform with a live orchestra.
MN: How will you play the songs, is there a particular sequence?
There is a sequence, almost like a story. I guess I feel a bit like Pete Townsend when he does Tommy, there's a theme there, a concept album, and there is kind of a loose concept with Lexicon of Love – romance. Although you wouldn't exactly say , 'Happy Valentine's Day, here's a song called The Night You Murdered Love'. But everyone's had a bit of heartache as well, there's an emotional range there and the popularity of the songs is definitely down to that.
MN: Do you get emotional when singing any of your songs?
A song like All Of My Heart, yes. I know that I can sing it to 80,000 people, as I did when we opened for Robbie Williams, and you can sing it on a cardboard box and go and busk it in Covent Garden and it has the same effect wherever you go.
MN: Do you still get a buzz from performing live?
Probably more. You learn something over the years and the audience has changed as well, they grow with you. I often wonder if there are some people out there who got married to Labour of Love and then got divorced to When Smokey Sings.
MN: Have you ever considered writing an autobiography?
Oh yeah, I'd enjoy it. I like Star Stories on TV, I'd rather they did me, that would be funny and I'd get Sean Bean to play me. He's a bit of a rough diamond, a northern bloke, bit craggy, he'd do.
MN: What about bands today, is there anyone in particular you like listening to?
I like the White Lies, I think they're good. The Killers too. I do a bit of crewing for my son's band, Wendy and The Lost Boys, but I go to shows where it's all 17-year-olds and hide at the back, it's a Dad Rock thing!