Dates coming up include: Friday, January 7, Portsmouth Guildhall; Tuesday, January 18, Guildford’s G Live; Thursday, January 20, Eastbourne’s Congress Theatre; and Tuesday, January 25, Crawley’s Hawth.
Musical director James Cole said: “It has been tough. When this tour goes ahead it will be two years since we last managed to get out there and tour. It was January/February 2020 and we were lucky that we managed to get 26 shows in during that time. We traditionally tour in January and February in the UK and our last show was February 26 and who could possibly have known what was going to happen after that? Luckily we filmed that show for DVD and you look at it and you look back at it and you look at this sold-out show at the end of February 2020 and you just think about what came afterwards.
“When the lockdown came we had just finished the tour and we were looking at tours of Europe and the States later but of course that didn’t happen.
“We looked at doing some shows in 2021 and we always try to tour the UK at the beginning of the year but there were so many shows that were being rescheduled to 2021 from 2020 that there just wasn’t really the available space for us so we missed a whole year.”
The ramifications were huge.
“There were 30 to 40 self-employed musicians and crew, from lighting to sound to everything, people that relied on these types of shows. I just really, really hope that it is safe for us to be able to go ahead with this tour.
“And of course, it is tough mentally. We jumped on the bandwagon, like everyone else did, of doing home recordings. We have got some fantastic musicians based around the world and we managed, because of the modern technology, still to perform together in some way and for us that was good for the soul, just to continue to be creative.
“From a mental health perspective really the impact is huge. It does play with your mind so much. You can’t plan anything.
“All you can do is hope, but I do believe that the thirst and hunger for live music have never been stronger from an audience perspective. Life is all about confidence so let’s hope that there is the confidence there.”
If the tour can go ahead it will be the perfect boost for everyone. The show pays homage to its favourite rock heroes.
“The show for 2022 is the most ambitious set list that I have ever put out. All we want is people to come and watch and reminisce and to go back to when they first heard these great hits and just to celebrate with us this great music. A lot of it is music that you just can’t hear live anymore because either the musicians are no longer with us or they are no longer touring, and there is just nothing like hearing this music live. It is fantastic experience.
“Really we are talking about music from the late 60s into the late 70s but as time goes on other artists like Guns N’ Roses and Aerosmith move into that category.
“I like to challenge the musicians every year. There is an element of education as well.
“It would be very easy to play the 20 greatest songs that you would expect but I also like trying to include… well I wouldn’t call them the more obscure ones but I want to go beyond the more obvious ones. We did once do all 15 minutes of Dire Straits’ Telegraph Road.
“I like to balance the set with the big well-known songs that we obviously have to do and some that will be more of a surprise to the audience.”