Run-DMC 'still get stage nerves'
Hip-hop heavyweights Run-DMC have revealed they still battle stage nerves, as they prepare to play their first UK gig together in 12 years.
The duo - Darryl 'DMC' McDaniels and Joseph 'Rev Run' Simmons - will be joined by newcomer Raleigh Ritchie at London's Scala tonight, to commemorate Vodafone's 30-year anniversary of the first UK mobile call.
The group, whose hits include It's Tricky, It's Like That and Walk This Way, are also celebrating over 30 years in the music industry, with their self-titled debut album released in 1984.
Despite having performed for huge audiences over three decades, both admitted they get anxious before taking to the stage.
McDaniels, 50, revealed: "I only get nerves right before I go on stage. Right before I go on stage, I get that little realisation of 'Oh shoot, I gotta go out there!' I never wanted to go out there ... I used to do those rhymes in my basement.
"I'm 50 years old now, I started writing rhymes when I was 12, and I still get that feeling."
The rapper said he channels his inner superhero before performing: "So before I go on stage, I have to change into the Hulk because he's my favourite superhero ... The mild-mannered Darryl McDaniels transformed into the mighty King of Rock."
Simmons, also 50, said he deals with his nervous energy by pacing around backstage.
"I love performing so up to the moment of truth, I'm a lil nervous - and when it (the time) comes, 'pow'! That's what I'm waiting for," he said.
The star of reality show, Run's House, continued: "I walk in circles. I just relax and wait for the moment. There's nothing I can do."
Run-DMC's last UK performance together was at the Totally Board festival in Manchester in October 2001, although McDaniels joined Aerosmith at the Hyde Park Calling festival in 2007, and Camden's Jazz Cafe in 2010.
"My favourite time in the UK was when I played at the Jazz Cafe. That was crazy! It was a small venue. I've heard the Scala is too, so it should be fun," McDaniels said.
Simmons added: "I'm excited because it's an anniversary for Vodafone and for Run-DMC - 30 years for them and 30 years for us, it's the perfect match. When it trickled down from management, I was like, 'I'm in'. I was happy to do it.
"12 years is a long time. It feels good. This is the pinnacle, this is the time and the celebration. There's no other big party like this one."
Meanwhile, Ritchie, best known for playing Grey Worm in fantasy TV series Game Of Thrones, admitted sharing the stage with Run-DMC was a dream come true.
"This is the biggest deal of my life. This is pretty special. Run-DMC are heroes of mine," he said. "I found out before Christmas and was told not to tell anyone. I told my dad and he almost had a heart attack."
The 24-year-old singer and actor, who will release his new single The Greatest in March and his debut album later this year, continued: "They were one of the first acts to show us that it was cool to mix genres and step outside of the box, whilst remaining honest and speaking truth. That means an awful lot to me personally, so to now be sharing a stage with them is a very surreal and exciting thing. A true honour.
"I will remember this night for the rest of my life," he added.
Tonight's one-off gig, with competition winners in attendance, will be streamed live over Vodafone's 4G network so people can watch it for free on YouTube or app, Power To.