LISTEN: Cuddly Toy star Roachford reveals Christmas tour to celebrate festive soul hits
and live on Freeview channel 276
A Soul Christmas Evening with Roachford will pay homage to his soul heroes featuring the likes of Stevie Wonder’s Someday At Christmas.
LISTEN: In an exclusive chat with Graham Walker - listen to the full interview here - he promised there will be no 'cheesy carols' and confirmed that fans will also be getting all his greatest hits.
Roachford's 2023 December tour will play a total of nine dates starting at Sheffield Leadmill (Dec 1), before playing London O2 Shepherds Bush Empire (2), Birmingham Town Hall (4), Brighton Concorde 2 (5), Manchester O2 Ritz (7), Northampton Roadmender (9) Norwich Waterfront (11), Bristol St Georges (13) and Newcastle University (15).
Andrew has released 10 studio albums and several greatest hits collections, been sought-after as a songwriter by the likes of Michael Jackson, Joss Stone and Chaka Khan, and consistently toured on his own and with contemporaries including Terence Trent D’Arby and The Christians.
For the past ten years he has been part of Mike + the Mechanics, recording with Mike Rutherford’s post-Genesis band, playing live with them across the world.
His latest 2020 album Twice In A Lifetime, featuring Beverley Knight, was released to wide acclaim.
"I always have fun at my shows but we are gonna take it to another level!” says Andrew, of the upcoming nine date tour.
"It's billed as a Christmas Soul Tour but it's essentially a Roachford gig. I'm going to be still doing my catalogue from over the years, but throwing in a few Christmas surprises
"I'm a big fan of people like Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles and those that are really talented at interpreting things in a very different way. And that's what I will be doing.
"I like John Lennon's So This Is Christmas - songs that have a double meaning. And they're about what Christmas should be about, bringing out the best in people, about being compassionate for each other. And Lord knows we need that right now.
"So don't worry it won't be cheesy Christmas carols or anything like that.
"It's going to be a soulful event. I'm a big fan of some of the great soul artists and the energy and the emotion that goes into their shows. I've learned from these people. I'm blessed with a great band, but it's about the energy and the connection with the audience - each night should be and is with Roachford an event. So if you're newbie to the Roachford camp, you know, expected it to be a bit 'spesh'.
He added: "My favourite Christmas song of all time? I like Silent Night. There's magic to that song."
Andrew may be one of the hardest working artists in the industry but he says Christmas is about taking time out with his family.
He said: "It's about letting go of the workaholic in me and resigning to the fact that it's a holiday, to chill out with family. And then there's great food, of course, and great TV.
"I go to see my mum in Barbados.
"Christmas is a time to reflect, to spare a thought for people less fortunate and love each other a little bit more."
Fans will also get to hear the songs which have made him an international soul star, including Family Man and his 1989 funk rock signature song Cuddly Toy, a UK Top 10 hit which has sold several million copies since its release.
All his Christmases came at once when Steve Coogan gave Cuddly Toy the Alan Partridge treatment, singing it in the opening credits of his 2013 film Alfa Papa.
It introduced Roachford to a whole new generation of fans. Not a day goes by without somebody asking him about the song and he says he never tires of singing it, describing it as a blessing, not a curse.
He said: "I'm a big Steve Coogan fan. I always have been. I think he's a very clever and funny man. And he obviously knows his music because he lip -synced Cuddly Toy better than I ever could, which is kind of nuts really. I loved it. And you know, Cuddly Toy in its own right is quite funny. It's a lot of humour in it."
Of all the big names he has been associated with he said the biggest thrill was being told pop king Michael Jackson was a fan and wanted to work with him.
"I was asked to work with him but we never got together. It was the Bad album period. I was touring and I couldn't get, but it was nice to be asked. It was surreal, very early on in my career," he explained.
"He said to his employer to tell me that he was a big Roachford fan because he was also a big fan of Sly and the Family Stone and my music reminded him of them. It was the biggest compliment I could ever get, really, because I would never have imagined it as a kid, growing up as a Michael Jackson fan, that I would ever hear that.
"And it was very encouraging for me.
"Anytime you get your heroes, giving you those kinds of accolades, it's such a big encouragement and verification that you're on the right track."
A Soul Christmas Evening with Roachford 2023
Fri 01 Dec Sheffield Leadmill
Sat 02 Dec London O2 Shepherds Bush Empire
Mon 04 Dec Birmingham Town Hall
Tue 05 Dec Brighton Concorde 2
Thu 07 Dec Manchester O2 Ritz
Sat 09 Dec Northampton Roadmender
Mon 11 Dec Norwich Waterfront
Wed 13 Dec Bristol St Georges
Fri 15 Dec Newcastle University
Apple Music: music.apple.com/us/artist/andrew-roachford/26379389