Whilst the name Paul Carrack might not be too synonymous with endless hits and stadium tours, the bands he has performed with certainly have been. After initially dabbling with soft-rock outfit Warm Dust in the early '70s, Carrack formed the rather more successful outfit Ace, with whom he wrote and sang on their biggest (and only) hit to date, 'How Long?'. The band continued into the '80s, by which time the evergreen, ever-reliable Carrack had built up an impressive session musician's portfolio by singing and tinkling the ivories for Roxy Music, John Hiatt, Nick Lowe, The Pretenders and even The Smiths in their early days.
His abilities were duly noted by British bar-room new-wavers Squeeze who installed him as Jools Holland's replacement for the album 'East Side Story' (big hit, 'Labelled With Love'). He struck gold again by performing vocals for both Roger Waters and Elton John, in and around regrouping with Squeeze in the '90s on their excellent 'Some Fantastic Place' album. But perhaps his biggest successes came with Mike and the Mechanics, a Genesis it was OK to admit to liking at least one song by, including 'Over My Shoulder', 'Word of Mouth' or #2 smash 'The Living Years' (the 'Mike' was of course Phil Collins' old buddy, Mr Rutherford).
So why isn't Carrack himself living on an island next door to Necker and running his own fruit-juice business? Quite simply, the man loves music and has quietly but assuredly released his own upstanding collection of solo works that have, by turns, earned him something more satisfying than whooping it up as Branson's neighbour - fans. 'One Good Reason', 'Blue Views' and 'Satisfy My Soul' have kept a loyal audience loyal and other musicians clamouring for his services.
They'll have to wait this year though - Carrack has a pile of live shows ready to go, along with his umpteenth new album, 'Good Feeling' (due in September). Initially, his tour was earmarked for 2012, but now another length leg has just been borne out of demand. Following on from 2012 shows in towns such as Derby, Worthing, London and Harrogate, next year's phase will also encompass Nottingham, Dartford, Plymouth, King's Lynn, London's Cadogan Hall and loads more until Norwich on 10th March. Tickets for 2013 will be on sale from Friday 22nd June - meanwhile you can purchase tickets to his 2012 shows now for around £28.50.
The question that Paul will surely be pondering at some point is: 'How Long' will this be going on? We will let you know of any further announced shows.