Ast­ley on his feet again

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - LIVE 'N' LOUD -

NGLISH ’80s icon, singer­song­writer Rick Ast­ley, is tour­ing Aus­tralia for the third time – his first visit here in more than 20 years.

Ast­ley has re­leased six stu­dio al­bums and sold more than 40 mil­lion records since launch­ing his ca­reer in 1987, clock­ing up hits along the way with To­gether For­ever, Never Gonna Give You Up, When­ever You Need Some­body, Cry For Help and a cover of When I Fall In Love.

Fresh from per­form­ing as part of the en­ter­tain­ment pro­gram at the Mel­bourne Cup Carnival, Ast­ley and his band, in­clud­ing Wa Wa Nee’s Paul Gray on key­boards, launch their Aus­tralian run with a show at Twin Towns to­mor­row night.

Ast­ley has un­der­gone a new wave of pop­u­lar­ity in re­cent years due to the ef­forts of in­ter­net pranksters and his hard­core fans. The phe­nom­e­non of on­line ‘‘Rick­rolling’’, where fans trick YouTube users into watch­ing videos by post­ing fake links, saw Ast­ley win the 2008 MTV Award for Best Act Ever.

With hits in­clud­ing To­gether For­ever and Take Me to Your Heart, the British star is the only male solo artist to have eight con­sec­u­tive sin­gles in the UK Top 10.

Ast­ley re­tired from mu­sic in 1993 but made a come­back in 2004.

‘‘I think what’s hap­pened, with any decade it kind of comes around again for a lit­tle bit,’’ he says.

‘‘For that gen­er­a­tion of kids were per­haps seven or eight when their mums were the ones buy­ing my records, it’s rubbed off on them a lit­tle bit.

‘‘I think a decade finds its feet again, in a cool way, an ironic, cool way.’’

On this tour, he’s driv­ing around Aus­tralia, but not, he says, be­cause of any fear of fly­ing.

‘‘I don’t think any­one wants to get on a plane any more, do they?’’ he says.

‘‘It’s not like it used to be where you could just roll up 20 min­utes be­fore and pile on. It’s a whole palaver now. So I’m driv­ing around Aus­tralia my­self.

‘‘I’m a bit of a con­trol freak. Plus you get to see the coun­try.’’

Ast­ley says he never tires of singing his sig­na­ture hit, Never Gonna Give You Up.

‘‘I don’t get but­ter­flies when I hear it start, but I don’t hate it ei­ther. I’m com­fort­able with it. It feels a bit like karaoke some­times,’’ he says.

While he’s been asked to write an au­to­bi­og­ra­phy, he is yet to put pen to pa­per.

‘‘I had some great times, but they’re the bor­ing bits. No one wants to read how great it was. They want the hor­ror sto­ries,’’ he says.

‘‘I never had any re­hab is­sues, but it’s a shit busi­ness. I def­i­nitely got de­pressed. ‘‘The mu­sic busi­ness re­ally de­stroys peo­ple’s souls.’’ Ast­ley says fans can ex­pect to hear a new song or two on his cur­rent tour.

‘‘I’ve made a new record, not that many peo­ple will hear it. It won’t sell, I un­der­stand that,’’ he laughs.

Rick Ast­ley plays Twin Towns to­mor­row at 8pm. Tick­ets are $69.90.

Rick Ast­ley is driv­ing his way around Aus­tralia on his first tour here in more than 20 years.

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