Nathan Carter tells Fiona O’Brien why he can’t believe his luck he gets to follow in the footsteps of his heroes
A year after playing at the iconic London Palladium, Nathan is preparing for his comeback show, and this time it will be bigger and better. His UK tour last spring was set to climax at a gig at Shepherd’s Bush, but maintenance works meant that the show had to be held elsewhere and a replacement was needed at the last minute.
“It was all a bit of a panic. The Palladium came up, and that was quite daunting in terms of upping ticket sales because it is such a big venue, but it all went down a success thankfully,” he says. “It was one of my favourite ever shows. And I can’t believe I get to stand on the same stage again as some of the likes of The Beatles, Ken Dodd and The Rolling Stones. It’s a dream come true.
“It is a really special feeling to follow in the footsteps of all of those acts, and I remember being quite overwhelmed backstage when I saw all of the photos of the bands through the years who had done Sunday Night at the Palladium.
Birthday Boy – Nathan turns 27
“And I actually turn 27 that night (May 28th) and it is the Sunday of the bank holiday weekend, so being on stage is the best way to celebrate, but I’m sure there’ll be a few pints of Guinness to be had afterwards as well.
“This time we have a ten-piece band, and a lot of special effects so we really want to up our game from the last one.
“I’m looking forward to the whole tour, we start in Rhyll in Wales, which isn’t too far from Liverpool so there’s a good few buses coming down from my hometown to kick the UK leg off.”
And there will also be a slightly modified set-list this time around, as Nathan’s new album Living the Dream, which has seven or eight original songs, is due for release in June, just after his UK tour finishes.
“We’ve adopted five or six of the new songs into the show too, which I’ve cowritten. “I think I’ve developed as a writer now as well as I’ve gotten older and have a few more ideas in my head, and more experience.
“It’s harder to source new cover songs the longer your career goes on, and it is also a lot more satisfying to sing your own songs. Especially when you get a reaction from the audience.
“The first single has the same name as the album, and I co-wrote it with Don Mescall and just released the video too, which has been received well by the fans so far.”
Nathan says that social media is a great way for him to gage what his fans think of his new material, and, unusually, he manages his Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat feeds himself, whereas most artists’ accounts are managed by their record companies.
“I’m a bit hands on in everything I do, which is sometimes a bit of a downfall!
“But I think it’s a good thing here, as it made sense to take on the social media too because I have an interest in it. “It’s a really great way to keep in touch with fans directly.
“They tell you what they like, and they don’t like in terms of gigs and new releases. Sometimes they can be brutally honest, or a bit harsh, so you do need a thick skin! But it’s great to know what is working and what isn’t. “And because music is so accessible now, and can be heard for free, I am finding out about new fans coming on board too, rather than the loyal ones who have been with me over the past few years, or the start.
“I get a lot of comments from people who have heard my stuff for the very first time, and their reaction is brilliant too, whether they loved a song that I did a cover of, or one of my own material.”
Meanwhile, Nathan just this weekend completed his big weekend event at the INEC Killarney, where he played Friday night, Saturday night, and a family day on Sunday.
“All in all I played to 7,000 people and the atmosphere there is just amazing. Killarney has to be my favourite venue in Ireland. “I still have to pinch myself when I see the crowds as it doesn’t seem like that long ago that I was starting out playing to about ten people in pubs. I never dreamed that it would get this big.”
The last time that Nathan had a big gig in London was at the Irish World Awards in February, which he headlined after winning his own award for best Irish country music act.
“That was a fantastic night. Paddy Cowan (owner and publisher of the Irish ‘World) was kind enough to invite my whole family down, and we were sat on a table with Foster and Allen.
“It was a great night of music and performance, and my band backed the rest of the acts. “Everything seemed to run smoothly which was great.”