Shakin’ Stevens chalks up 30 years

editorial image

The UK’s 16th highest-selling artist in the history of the charts - and consistently one of the most popular - is on the road to celebrate a landmark anniversary.

Shakin Stevens heads for The Hawth, Crawley on November 15 and then the Theatre Royal Brighton on Sunday, December 11 for a look back at a remarkable career.

The retrospective is prompted by the fact that it’s now a remarkable 30 years since his first UK hit, Hot Dog.

“I had been going for quite some time,” he admits. “It had been a long time coming. I played at local church halls and schools and so forth. I made some records, but I had no luck really.”

He began his professional performing career in 1968, fronting Shakin’ Stevens and the Sunsets, created and managed by South Wales rock and roll promoter and impresario Paul ‘Legs’ Barrett - but years of slogging on the circuit lay ahead.

The turning point came with big record label interest and a decision to go back to his roots - and Shaky hasn’t looked back since. A box set of his 147 Epic tracks underlines his output - and he’s not done yet.

“I started at a young age in this business,” he says. “It’s my life. And I have got a lot more to record yet.

“We are going out with a great band and we are going to do some surprises - and we are going to have a great time. We are going to have a party! “I just enjoy what I do. It’s hard work, but I couldn’t sit back. I am very pleased with the success that I have had. “The first hit was Hot Dog but I had been going a long time before that. You always hope for a hit record. You do your best. Luck is a part of it, but it was just a very very catchy track to me. “My first album was 1969/70. I made a couple of albums with no success at all. But you need the commitment from the record industry.” But then the breakthrough came: “It did change things. The audience was larger! I did work abroad, in Holland and Denmark, and as the hits got more, the whole thing got bigger. It was great fun. When I left school, I had day jobs but I couldn’t keep them because my heart and soul was into singing.”