SHAKIN’ Stevens chats about where it all started, his new tour and how, almost 40 years on, he is still as determined as ever to be the best.

In the early 60s in the sleepy suburb of Ely, Cardiff, an underdog story of monumental proportions was starting to form. At the time Michael Barratt was in his early teens, singing in school, and working in the wood yard on a Saturday. From the age of fifteen, he was forming bands, performing in pubs, clubs and church halls, eventually even getting them a gig at the famous 2i’s.

Starting from nowhere, and with “just pure determination” as he puts it, Shaky soon became an unrelenting force in British music.

“I’m a great believer that you only get what you put in – and I put in everything I could,” says Shaky, who still shows no sign of slowing down, with a new European and UK spring tour.

“When I started we were travelling in vans, at that time we couldn’t afford B&Bs, so after the gig the band would all climb in the back of the van with our fish and chips and then wake up in the morning - six sweaty musicians, all the gear around us, and you’d think ‘oh god’, he laughs.

“Then we’d go have a shave, a wash down and onto to the next gig. So it’s perseverance – I was determined to get there in the end. It took me a long time to get there, but here I am.”

His new tour, Greatest Hits – and More sees him travel across 18 cities in the UK, as well as all over mainland Europe.

“There will be hits,” he says excitedly. “Some I haven’t sung for a long time. Songs from my record collection and of course newer tracks from the Echoes Of Our Times album.”

When asked how it feels that 40 years on his fans are still by his side, he says: “Fantastic. It’s really good that they’re still coming and even better that as my music moves on they move on with me.

“[Back in the day] it was mums and dads that were the fans, and then they introduced the kids to the Saturday TV shows and Top Of The Pops, then they brought their kids to the gigs. On the last tour I met a couple of people backstage who were not kids anymore! They were in their 30s and 40s and telling me they’re still coming because they love it – and they’re the core of my audience.

“The added bonus is that they also want more of the new material, which they have really taken to.”

Shaky has had success with his most recent album Echoes Of Our Times (released in late 2016), his highest charting album since 1984. A personal, story-driven record based on Shaky’s ancestors.

Not one to rest on his laurels, he is already working on a follow up to Echoes Of Our Times which will “keep on with the rootsy style,” Shaky says. “It suits and it’s a move forward for me.”

He adds: “I’ve got a lot, lot more to give yet.”

The tour is at Salisbury’s City Hall on Friday, March 1, 7.30pm.

For tickets go to or call the box office on 01722 434434.