Login Register

Marmalade gives Sandy taste for more music

By Herald Express  |  Posted: September 26, 2013

  • the boys in the band: Marmalade with Sandy, centre

Comments (0)

IT'S time to pull on your paisley shirts and bung on your bell-bottoms. October is round the corner, and this is the month the Sensational 60s Experience show will be doing exactly what it says on the tin at the Princess Theatre in Torquay.

The three-hour nostalgia-fest will feature the iconic bands Marmalade, Herman's Hermits, Chris Farlowe and Steve Ellis' Love Affair in a spritely strut through what was arguably the UK's golden era for music.

This is set to be a show which will guarantee to please anybody with fond memories of the 1960s pop/rock scene, and who can relate to it better than Marmalade's own front-man Sandy Newman.

Originating from Glasgow, the accomplished star has been taken all over the world with his music, and now it's time for him to tread the boards at the English Riviera.

"I'm looking forward to going on tour with the guys (Herman's Hermits, Chris Farlowe, and Steve Ellis' Love Affair)," said Sandy.

"It's a slightly unusual package, in a good way. I've gigged with Herman's Hermits before and I've been on tour with them; it's always been a lot of fun. We were all in great spirits on that tour.

"Don't get me wrong, it always takes a while to adjust when you're touring with people, but once the ball gets rolling it's just great.

"Package shows such as this one are always more colourful. It adds a new dynamic when it's not just you or your band, it's other musicians doing their own thing alongside you.

"I'm really looking forward to touring with Chris Farlowe, the man's a legend."

Sandy's music career also spans beyond the likes of Marmalade. Before he replaced lead singer Dean Ford in 1973, he had been enjoying a fruitful career in a different pop/rock band.

"We were the kingpins of the Scottish realm, if you like." Sandy laughed.

"The transition between that and coming into a band which was already recognised for a certain style wasn't too difficult."

"The transition felt quite natural, actually. I'd done road shows with Marmalade and been on Radio Luxembourg with them, so we had got to know each other beforehand.

"I joined at a great time. The line-up involved the original bass player and drummer and we were playing hit records. We were touring extensively, and when we released 'Falling Apart at the Seams' our publicity shot up, it was an incredible feeling."

But Sandy's creative talents don't stop at his generation. With eldest son Alec Newman rubbing shoulders with the likes of Cate Blanchett and Sir Derek Jacobi following a thriving acting career and youngest son John James being a successful musician in his own right, it is clear a bent for the arts has been passed down through the bloodline.

He said: "It was never set out that my sons would be in the entertainment industry.

"My wife and I were very lucky in that we could offer them the opportunity to get into the industry if they wanted, but it was never pushed on to them.

"My eldest son Alec trained hard at LAMDA to build up the acting career he has today and John James has always had a passion for music."

The family ties have become more tightly knit than ever since John James joined Marmalade in 2011.

"John James being in Marmalade was something I never really considered, to be honest.

"I knew he was busy with his own music and had various projects going on, so when he asked if he could join I was very pleasantly surprised.

"We love having him as part of the band."

Marmalade has been extremely busy and not just with live performances. Project Penultimate, a double album consisting of 18 tracks, a 24 page booklet and a DVD, is currently in production.

"Project Penultimate was unexpected if I'm honest, but I've absolutely loved doing it.

"What makes it different is we've got a brand new line-up, but we're doing our old classic songs.

"I almost see it as homage to the old Marmalade, but with new members. It's just a different vibe.

"It was good to re-address half-finished songs I had written with John, so it all came together.

"When we were recording the tracks for Penultimate, it was magical. The energy which was in the recording studio was something I hadn't felt in years.

"It's called Penultimate because I thought this would definitely be my last project with Marmalade, but when we were recording the tracks it was magical.

"The energy which was in the recording studio was something I hadn't felt in years. It made me feel like there's still the capacity to do more in the future. Hence the name, I wanted to say 'this might not be the last you hear of us'."

The project came just a few years after Sandy released his debut solo album, 'The Golden Years'.

"I'd always toyed with the idea of doing a solo album in my head. I've written a lot of songs over the years and it's a fresh challenge to go from being in a band for years to doing your own thing.

"When you're a group of musicians working together you're always involved in what I refer to as 'the ethic of the group', which can be hard sometimes.

"I just wanted to do something which brought me back to my days as a youngster when I was writing songs and carrying Bob Dylan records on vinyl under my arm."

With over 40 years in the music business, there is surely a formula which guarantees a long-term position in the hearts of the public?

"When we get in front of an audience, it just works. It's what we're used to and what is ingrained in us. Stuff works without us even knowing what we've done or how we've done it. I suppose it's down to a mixture of experience and passion.

"My advice would be to do your homework and practice, spend time with the people you're making music with. Most importantly, never be afraid to try new things. It's a trap I've fallen into before and I'll never do it again."


Read more from Torquay Herald Express

Do you have something to say? Leave your comment here...

max 4000 characters