|Chris De Burgh|
Inside World Music: You put so much effort into your songwriter; it's such an important part of what you do. Do you consider yourself a songwriter first and a performer second, or do the two intertwine?Chris De Burgh: I think the second thing you just said. I always take the point of view that stars really have to remember one thing - they are absolutely no different to anybody else. They are mortal, they are exactly the same as other people, and I always laugh about the fact that there appears to be a handbook, How to be a Rock and Roll Star:
Inside World Music: You have many classic songs that are still huge fan requests, that you still perform to this day; songs like "Spanish Train" and "Spaceman Came Travelling" and many, many others that you have been performing 20 to 30 years. How do you approach these songs now and still keep them fresh and stay excited about performing them?
Chris De Burgh: I think for the same reasons that I spoke about earlier, that if you feel emotion you can convey it. The first time I looked at a Van Gogh painting, I just went bonkers; I didn't know the first thing about him but I just knew there was an energy trying to get out and speak to me. Similarly -- and I'm not comparing myself to Van Gogh, by the way [laughs] -- what I am trying to do is help people, I suppose, through the way I feel in songwriting, in music, to . . . I sort of said it before about conveying emotion. What it comes back to is the "Spanish Trains" and the "Spaceman Came Travellings" obviously mean something to people who have enjoyed them in the past. When I do a concert, I am keenly aware that people have come to hear the songs that are favourites, which, that said, it is very difficult - I have become known almost like Bruce Springsteen; I do a very long show without a break. With a band it's about three hours and solo about two and a half - during that period I can't really pull out every song that people want to hear. The only thing I do remember is going to see other people I admire, concerts of performers, and I go there to hear a song or two and if they don't play it I walk out the door feeling really pissed off; "Why didn't they play that one?"
Photo courtesy Sony Music Canada.
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