April 23 2014 Latest news:
by James Laird
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Maneater and Out of Touch star John Oates is excited about upcoming Islington date
»Since its reopening in 2009, the Islington Assembly Hall has welcomed a number of top music acts, but next week may be the first time it plays host to part of rock and roll history.
Next Friday, celebrated US rocker John Oates, one half of the legendary chart toppers Hall and Oates, who scored a string of hits in the 1970s and 1980s with the likes of Maneater and Out of Touch, will play his first ever UK solo gig at the refurbished Upper Street venue.
He is clearly excited by the prospect of performing in the heart of Islington.
He said: “I’ve heard the Assembly Hall is a great venue and it will be the first time I have played solo in the UK. I have lots of friends in London and I’m sure the guest list will be big!”
Fans are promised a mix of songs from both his solo career and the duo’s much-loved back catalogue, though John is clear that the focus will be very much on his latest blues efforts.
He added: “I’ve always found London to be a very discerning music crowd, a kind of ‘show me what you’ve got’ audience. If they’re coming to hear a great band playing some hardcore blues they’re going to love it.
“We’ve always had a very good fan base who have been very faithful and loyal over the years, so it’ll be interesting to see who turns up.”
Oates, 63, is touring his foot-stomping new album The Bluesville Sessions, a live studio recording that features some standout tracks from his 2011 release Mississippi Mile alongside fresh material, including a new version of Maneater.
Oates describes it as a fun album that takes him back to his musical roots.
“The three studio albums were all different,” he said. “Phunk Shui was a collection of older material, but I don’t think it had a lot of focus. 1000 Miles of Life was a very introspective personal album, kind of folky and singer-songwritery, with a lot of mature themes. A very serious feeling actually.
“This is much more a fun album and a chance for me to revisit my early inspirations and influences.”
For the musically diverse Oates, the rock and roll lifestyle is just a daily reality.
“Touring is my life. It’s interesting, you go to a new country but there’s a consistency because there are Hall and Oates fans all over the world.
“They have a very open mind when it comes to music, while they love the fact that we try different things and are willing to take chances.
“It’s a good feeling for an artist to know that his audience isn’t stuck in the past.”
John Oates performs at the Islington Assembly Hall in Upper Street, N1, on Friday, 27 April. Visit agmp.ticketabc.com for tickets.