The Enemy’s Tom Clarke heads to Ku Bar in Stockton this month, so Adam Hutchinson caught up with Tom to find out what gig-goers can expect.
For the upcoming tour, you’ve made it public that the latest shows for you are about going back to the grassroots of playing shows and building your way up…can you elaborate on this a bit more?
The last run of shows we did were in pretty big venues which was an unexpected place for me to find myself to be honest. Doing those shows is a great achievement and it looks great, but the reality is that you can’t really grow a live act off the back of four shows in major cities: you have to go off the beaten track a little bit to reach people who aren’t already devoted fans ready to travel to the nearest major city.
Obviously, the past couple years have been huge for you with the 10-year shows of ‘We’ll Live and Die In These Towns’ and The Enemy’s Farewell Tour. Focusing on the anniversary shows firstly, which you did acoustically, how was that overall tour for you?
It was beyond anything I expected really. I was extremely nervous about the whole thing – I didn’t know if anybody would even be interested when we put those first shows on sale. When they sold the way they did and I found myself standing in some pretty big venues a few months later, I couldn’t really believe it. Overall, the whole reception has blown me away.
Putting The Enemy to the side for a second and looking forward, you’re spending time this year in the studio working on your own solo project. How has the writing and recording process been for you so far?
It’s been incredibly liberating. There is no label or management breathing down my neck with deadlines and I have no intention of begging a radio station to play any of it, which means I’m not writing to a radio formula, so the process itself is simple and rewardingly fast once the songs are written.
Lastly, what do you have for people to look forward to?
Free music, great shows and no bullshit. Everything I record is released to fans for free now – I take the hit on the cost of recording it and I figure I’ll make it back when I tour. There’s no label to tell me I can’t do that now, so it’s free to fans. Gigs feel like a family gathering now: the fans are all family and I just want to grow it because it’s such a great feeling when we are all together.
Tom Clarke plays Ku Bar, Stockton on Saturday 29th September. Tickets, priced at £16.50 in advance (including booking fee), are available from seetickets.com.