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exclusive T’Pau: Pop icons back on Deck’ with first NI show in decades

Singer Carol can’t wait to get on stage in Northern Ireland to see how it’s changed since dark days of the Troubles

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T'Pau had their big break with China in Your Hand

T'Pau had their big break with China in Your Hand

Carol has been singing for decades

Carol has been singing for decades

PA

Carol Decker

Carol Decker

T-Pau had a string of hits

T-Pau had a string of hits

Carol Decker and T'Pau play Bangor in August

Carol Decker and T'Pau play Bangor in August

PA

Carol at the height of her fame

Carol at the height of her fame

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T'Pau had their big break with China in Your Hand

Pop icon Carol Decker is set to roll back the years with her first Northern Irish show for decades.

The T’Pau singer can’t wait to see how the country has changed after many years of peace.

She explained: “Back in the day, we used to play the King’s Hall and we used to stay at the hotel with all the bloody barbed wire [The Europa]. We thought it was really exciting.

“I’ve been over to Belfast to do bits and bobs of telly down the years. It’s a thriving city now, which is lovely.”

Someone once joked that nostalgia isn’t what it used to be, but that won’t be the case in Bangor next month.

T’Pau are headlining Let’s Rock Northern Ireland in Ward Park, alongside other 80s greats such as Belinda Carlisle, Adam Ant, Wet Wet Wet, Sister Sledge, Toyah and Chesney Hawkes.

Carol (64) told Sunday Life: “We’re so blessed with all the festivals that we do.

“They’re often in a gorgeous location like stately home grounds or some amazing park with manicured gardens.

“So, it’s just a joy for everybody, even us, the artists, to be in such a lovely environment.

“The Let’s Rocks are great. They are a trip down memory lane and the 80s has been having a renaissance for the longest time.

“I did my first 80s reunion tour in 2001 with Paul Young, Kim Wilde and Go West and we did all the arenas on the mainland. So, the revival’s been going for longer than the decade lasted.”

T’Pau are best-known for the number one hit China in Your Hand, which announced their arrival on the pop scene.

Carol said: “Our debut album, which was quadruple platinum, was called Bridge of Spies. That was released 35 years ago this year. You don’t get that for murder, do you?

“You know, I never have a plan for the next day. It’s one of the reasons I was in a band. I’m not a conventional person. I don’t like thinking about long-term strategies, pensions, mortgages and boring c**p like that.

“So yeah, I just take each day as it comes and hundreds and thousands of them have gone past still doing music, which is great.

“I was quite late coming to music as a career. I was 22, and by the time me and Ronnie [Rogers], my partner, finished writing songs and were thrashing our way up and down the M1 for years doing gigs... I was 26 when I got some serious management and stuff like that.

“I just thought then that people die after 40 because that’s really old. You know, I didn’t think into the future at all.

“We’re just fortunate enough that Ron and I wrote a handful of really catchy songs that people still hold in high affection, which is lovely.

“Without sounding conceited, I can still sing. You know, my voice hasn’t really changed much at all, so I’m still getting away with it. I think that is the best way of putting it.”

Carol admitted that she has a new-found appreciation for performing after spending the best part of two years restricted like everyone else during the pandemic.

She said: “It’s absolutely fantastic. I actually managed to get a few festivals done last year here in England.

“But definitely, they’ve come back with a vengeance, all the ones that got postponed for one and two years.

“So yeah, it’s come back in a flurry. I’m super-busy now, but it’s great because I’m getting my mojo back. I certainly lost it like a lot of people did.

“I got so used to just loafing around the house in a tracksuit. I found it really difficult to get going again. I drank myself into a fat suit. I just sat around watching Netflix and drinking loads of wine.

“I feel embarrassed that I didn’t write an album or learn French or something like that, or take an online creative writing course. I sat in front of the telly, just depressed, drinking loads of wine and thinking, ‘When’s this going to end?’

“For me, getting back on the stage in the first handful of festivals that I did, it was almost emotional that we were back and it was normal.

“There was no, ‘Wear a mask if you go in the tent’. There was nothing. It was normal and it was joyous.

“It wasn’t for me. I wasn’t frightened of the virus at all. I had it, but not very severely. My husband had it twice, worse the second time.

“So, it was never the virus that was the thing for me. It was the sort of, you know, the dystopian [feeling].

“You just couldn’t live your normal life anymore. That what I was in shock over. I was asking, ‘What do you mean I can’t leave the house?’ I didn’t get it.

“So as soon as we were able to get back and do gigs with people literally jumping up and down with a bottle of beer in their hand and sweating everywhere, I just loved it.”

Carol Decker and T’Pau are headlining Let’s Rock Northern Ireland at Ward Park in Bangor on Saturday, August 6. Visit letsrocknorthernireland.com to buy tickets


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