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An interview with Go West | FESTIVALPHOTO

An interview with Go West


Anthony May from Festivalphoto spoke by phone with Richard Drummie from Go West to talk about their forthcoming UK tour and the band in general.

Festivalphoto: You're about to start your 3D live UK tour. What can fans expect from the shows - a greatest hits setlist or something different?

Richard: Well I wish we had so many hits that we couldn't squeeze them all into a show without making it the same as usual, but we will be doing all our hits, we always do really. Sometimes there's one or two that aren't right for the venue because they're too quiet or whatever, but no, all the hits will be there but we always on every tour try to play new things. I don't think people are going to keep paying to come and see you if you keep playing the same stuff again and again, so we're going to be doing a couple of new contemporary covers of other peoples. We always go back into our back catalogue and go "hang on a minute, we haven't played this song for ten years or fifteen years or whatever, so yeah it will made up of our hits, our back catalogue and current stuff from 3D as well as maybe a couple of surprise covers.

Festivalphoto: Your tour is the 3D live tour. 3D is an interesting idea - an album being released as 3 separate EPs. Is the third part available yet?

Richard: It isn't yet unfortunately. This is probably something that's a good question for me to answer because I think it might be my fault. We all have things that come up in life, and without going through my own personal circumstances, there have been a couple of things that have happened recently that have meant that I've had to devote my time to other things, so that's what's held this up really which is unfortunate, but you know, we could have tried to rush it, squeeze it in or made it a load of covers or whatever else but eventually we decided not to do that and we will release that as and when it's ready to be released. I'm really proud of this album, I think the first two CD's are brilliant, and I didn't want the third one to be made under duress as it were, so the CD will be available eventually but it won't be available for the tour unfortunately.

Festivalphoto: I think most fans would probably prefer you to wait till its perfect before releasing it rather than rushing it out to meet a deadline.

Richard: It's difficult though and obviously Peter's got a say in this, I do feel for him, but I think you're right, people would rather have it as something that we're proud of, and I think in the long run when you look back on it, you don't want to have it rushed out. We've had that before with stuff, I won't tell you what but where people have put a deadline on it and so we've had to put it out even though there were two or three things we wanted to do. I remember that on the Indian Summer album where they just basically said "you've got one more week and that's it". At the end of that album there were still things I wanted to do to the record, but it's a great record, and I think if you gave me the opportunity now I doubt if I could remember what it was I wanted to add.

Festivalphoto: You're playing dates around the UK. Of those, the Stables in Milton Keynes is an interesting choice as its a seated venue.

Richard: Not when we play it! We've had this run in with them over the years. I had that same reaction when I turned up for our first show there and thought "How's this going to work?". It's a great venue and we love to play it now, but at first it was very sterile, everyone sit down kind of thing, but our fans won't be told and they just got up, so we had a few run-ins with them being told to sit down, and now I think The Stables have kind of relented and realised that the fans aren't going to get up and tear the seats up, they just like to get up and move about, so we have a great time there. It is a different venue though because the crowd is so close to you but quite nice because we like to have a bit of a chat as you can hear, so it works really well. It's slightly different in the context of this tour because most of the venues are Academies, so they're stand up rock venues, but I think The Stables is there purely because it's become a bit of a favourite for us on our tours, much the same as The Robin 2. It's almost like they're the Wayne Rooneys of the tour - the first names down on the list when we work out what tour dates we're doing.

Festivalphoto: The tour finishes on the 22nd December at the Shepherds Bush Empire - just in time for a Christmas break.

Richard: Yes indeed. I've been making jokes to various people about us coming on dressed as Santa, but I better stop because people might be disappointed when we don't. It's nice, this year's been very very busy. We've just come back from an
arduous trip to Cambodia, we've played all round Australia then we went on to Malaysia and the Philippines. There's just about time for us to get over the jetlag, we're gigging this weekend then we start rehearsals and tour right up to Christmas which is very nice.

Festivalphoto: You mentioned the trip to Cambodia where you took part in the Trek Cambodia challenge to raise funds for charity. How did it go?

Richard: It was really good. It was a bit... as I said at the beginning of this call, I've got a lot of stuff going on in my world that isn't to do with music and so it was tough to squeeze it in because it meant that I was away from home on and off for something like seven weeks. Yeah it was great, except we got there and it was flooded, you hear all this talk about Thailand being flooded, you should have seen Cambodia - we were walking down the road with water up to our knees, barely managing to stant up in the torrent. And then..we always have a little summit meeting the first night we get there with the leader of the trek who's always a local and he tells us "I think I should clear something up and let you guys know that we're 100% sure that there are no longer any landmines anywhere". Let me tell you, none of us had thought there were any landmines before he said that, so it was a bit quiet after that, and nodody went off into the bushes much I can tell you that! But it went really well, it's a fantastic charity Action Medical Research, I mean people want to look it up online - - we've done four treks now and raised over a million pounds for them, and I think it's a great thing for everybody, all the fans that come along, because I think you know I go with Martin Fry from ABC usually and sometimes Tony from Spandau Ballet, and it's a really really lovely event, very cleansing and all positive.

Festivalphoto: It's good that you can enjoy it as well as raising so much money for charity.

Richard: Yeah, I'm glad you reminded me to to say that. When they first mentioned this they phoned up and said we're thinking of going on this trek, we're going to Venezuela, Tony will be coming, and I said that sounds, I'm in, and they said hold on a second, let me let you know it's for charity and I went "ok great". So there's no big nobility about this, but I have become quite involved and close to the charity now. They've done some great things over the years, they discovered a cure for Polio, they invented the Ultrasound so we can see our kids before they're born, and they've come up with hip replacements which I will probably need some day. The trouble is with AMR, Action Medical Research, it's not, and I can't put this any other way, it's not a little puppy, you know what I mean ...

Festivalphoto: It doesnt have the cute and cuddly factor.

Richard, Yes it's quite a scientific charity, so it's hard to get peoples emotions stirred up for it, so yeah it's nice to be able to do something to help them.

Festivalphoto: You've released "Frame by frame", a DVD compilation of all your videos plus live footage and interviews. What was it like looking back at the old videos?

Richard: It was good. The funny thing was we have a commentary on "Frame by Frame" but we didnt really even look at them, we just went from our memory of each video. I've got a very clear memory of each of them. Yeah we've had fun with the videos, sorry its mostly been fun, some of them weren't. Some of them I thought the directors weren't giving value for money shall I say. Some of them got done twice and whatever, but I mean it's an amazing experience, we are very lucky to be able to be doing this when did we kick off, '82 , it's getting on for thirty years since we stopping doing what I would call proper jobs, and that's pretty good going, to be able to do something you like for thirty years. It was nice to get together and reminisce about them, and people that we've lost were in those videos, and yeah they're all part of the band and
we've never managed to get permission to put them all on a DVD before, and there's a couple of home made videos that have never seen the light of day before, so there's a few oddities in there as well so it's great to have them all compiled now and under one roof as it were.

Festivalphoto: Your video for "we close our eyes" was directed by Godley and Creme. How was it working with them?

Richard: They're great. On that video in particular I couldn't believe we got to work with Godley and Creme - they directed my favourite video which is "Every breath you take", I can still remember sitting in my room when it came out on the TV, the first time they played it, and I'm a massive 10cc fan, I mean one of my favourite bands of all time, I saw them play six times live, and so to work with them just had so many positives for me . They knew what they were doing and they took control, I mean we were naive enough to think...I remember dropping them off an idea for the video the day before, as if they could...Pete and I sat down and came up with ideas and thought well it's our bands, why can't we, and they calmly put it in the bin for us and went their own way. They're very creative people and they were very nice to work with.

Festivalphoto: Two of your songs have been in major movies - "One way street" in Rocky 4 and "King of wishful thinking" in Pretty Woman. What effect did this have? Was it strange hearing your songs in a major film?

Richard: Well in Rocky 4, you blink and you'll miss it. I timed it and it's in the film for 13 seconds and some of that time he's talking over it, but that's the way it is. I occasionally work for Ad agencies now, and it can be the same thing where the music is very secondary to the movie of course in Pretty Woman where I could not believe the spot we got there, I mean it's right at the top of the film and I haven't timed it because you can hear practically all of the song. It's almost the theme song for the movie which is absolutely brilliant. I suppose we could say the song "Pretty woman" would be the theme, but it's fantastic, it's nice to be talking about something else except yourself, you know we've always said we're a couple of ordinary blokes from London so when you get attched to a vehicle (for want of a better word) like that, it's brilliant because you're just riding on their wave and it's something new to talk about. Plus the fact we got to meet Sylvester Stallone which was fantastic - he was a very very smart guy and very funny and we liked him, and we also got to meet Julia Roberts which was lovely in it's own way as well. It's all good to be tied in with movies. The only thing is like with Pretty Woman, you do then have to go off and promote sombody else's album as it were, but since it sold eleven and a half million copies I'm not really that bothered.

Festivalphoto: You've been together as a band for 25 years now when most bands split long before that - how have you managed it?

Richard: Well we were friends before we formed the band, I think that's important. I've known Pete since I was 16 so we knew each other for ten years before we started writing or doing anything together, so I think that probably is it. To be honest we argue like you wouldn't believe, we're very different people, we both have to have a finger in every pie - it's not like Squeeze where Chris writes the lyrics and Glenn writes the music, we write everything, so it means that every decision has to be discussed and that takes time, drives our management mad, but we get through it somehow. I don't know how we resolve the
50-50's, I think it's whoever is most stubborn. We did separate for a litte while, and I think we grew up after that and realised don't try and win every battle because it's not going to move forward if you do that.

Festivalphoto: Comng from London you're spoilt for choice for football teams, so who do you support?

Richard: I've been a Fulham fan for 30-odd years, I've got a season ticket and so has my son, so I'm definitely a Fulham fan. It's a good time to be a Fulham fan, and I can tell you we've had some bad times so very happy to be a Fulham fan, in fact I'm looking at my ticket for the Chelsea away game on Boxing day as we speak - they've got pride of place on my mantlepiece, looking forwards to stuffing Chelsea on Boxing day if you'll excuse the Christmas pun there.

Festivalphoto: I suspect a lot of non-Fulham fans will be cheering Fulham on that day as well.

Richard: Fulham's a nice team to support now, we are a liked club. I think during the Europa league journey everybody was behind us and that was nice, and myself and my son went to Hamburg and unfortunately we lost it in the dying minutes, but football's football, I'm passionate about it but I'm not stupid about it. I'm one of those people that if we give away a penalty and it was a penalty then I'll go yeah its a penalty, fair enough, I'm not one of those blind supporters who just think that everything that happens against their team is a complete injustice. It's just a game of football, it's something to do every other week.

Festivalphoto: One last question, What's the best part of touring from your point of view?

Richard: Seeing the world. We did a couple of tours, of the world really back in the early day and I must admit I spent a lot of time in the hotel bar, and having a dreary day, dreary next morning, not really seeing where I was, which is fair
enough because I was a kid, but now I really really use that opportunity. When we were in Australia I was travelling everywhere, in Sydney I travelled everywhere on the train, went out of town for an hour. On the last tour of Australia I went
up into the Blue mountains. I don't lounge around in the hotel, I get myself out and come back having seen tons of stuff, so I like that, and the other bit is the bit on stage - always loved that and still do. Those are the two main things.

Festivalphoto: Thank you very much for your time.

Go West's official website is at:

Go West's 3D live tour kicks off on the 7th of December - details below...

National Credit Card Hotline: 0844 477 2000
Book Online:

Wednesday 7th December
Robin 2 Wolverhampton
Box Office: 01902 401211
General Admission: £20.00 in advance, £22.50 on the door
Book Online:
Address: 20-22 Mount Pleasant, Bilston, Wolverhampton, WV14 7LJ

Thursday 8th and Friday 9th December
The Stables Milton Keynes
Box Office: 01908 280 800
General Admission: £20.00
Book Online:
Address: Stockwell Lane, Wavendon, MK17 8LU

Tuesday 13th December
O2 ABC Glasgow
Box Office: 0844 477 2000
General Admission: £20.00
Book Online:
Address: 330 Sauchiehall St, Glasgow, G2 3JB

Wednesday 14th December
O2 Academy Liverpool
Box Office: 0844 477 2000
General Admission: £20.00
Book Online:
Address: 11 - 13 Hotham Street, Liverpool, L3 5UF

Friday 16th December
O2 Academy Sheffield
Box Office: 0844 4772000
General Admission: £20.00
Book Online:
Address: 37-43 Arundel Gate, Sheffield, S1 1DE

Saturday 17th December
O2 Academy Newcastle
Box Office: 0844 477 2000
General Admission: £20.00
Book Online:
Address: Westgate Road, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 1SW

Tuesday 20th December
O2 Academy Oxford
Box Office: 0844 477 2000
General Admission: £20.00
Book Online:
Address: 190 Cowley Road, Oxford, OX4 1UE

Wednesday 21st December
O2 Academy Birmingham
Box Office: 0844 4772000
General Admission: £20.00
Book Online:
Address: 16 - 18 Horsefair, Birmingham, B1 1DB

Thursday 22nd December
O2 Shepherds Bush Empire London
Box Office: 0844 477 2000
General Admission: £22.50
Book Online:
Address: Shepherd's Bush Green, London, W12 8TT

Writer: Anthony May
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