It’s some time since Brit award-winning artist Paul Young has played his native Luton and he’s looking forward to headlining at the Fleadh Fiesta on Sunday (August 24) with his band Los Pacaminos.
“We used to do regular gigs at the White Swan in Dunstable,” he recalled. “That’s where we met Declan Duggan, who’s organising the event.”
Paul – a former Ramridge Junior and Ashcroft High pupil – always wanted to be a musician.
“Me and a friend used to put together a little thing during dinner break – we’d play a few songs,” he said.
“I really wanted to be in a band and became a bass player in the Beds and Herts area.” He added: “My family weren’t musical - we didn’t even have a record player until I bought one.
“I think initially they thought I was taking a big risk and were very happy and relieved when it worked.”
Paul made it to the top with a variety of bands and recorded a string of hits, including Toast, Wherever I Hang my Hat and Everytime You Go Away – his own particular favourite.
He appeared at Live Aid and admitted: “None of us knew how big that was going to become. We just thought it was a nice day out.”
He does as much as he can for good causes and became patron of Children with Cancer after moving into his first big house on a private road.
“Within six months our neighbour’s youngest son had been diagnosed with leukaemia and they lost a second child to cancer,” he explained. “They set up the charity in 1986 and I’ve been involved ever since.”
He’s also become a wellknown face on cookery programmes and has agreed to his skills being auctioned off to raise money for his children’s school in Mill Hill.
And he’s in talks about a television show combining food and music.
“My speciality is Cajun and Mexican,” he said. “I loved the music first and that drew me in –I wanted to know more about the culture and the art and the food followed.”
> Fleadh Fiesta at Lewsey Farm from 2pm on Sunday. Tickets £12.50 each from 01582 878100.