Joe McElderry’s planning to give north east audiences the time of their lives when he brings his new show to the region.
On a break from donning his coat of many colours in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Joe has hit the road with his own show on the back of his fifth album, Saturday Night at the Movies.
The tour sees the singer breathe new life into classic tracks from the worlds of movies and musicals, with newly-orchestrated recordings of tracks such as Time of My Life from Dirty Dancing, Elvis Presley’s Can’t Help Falling in Love, and Any Dream Will Do from Joseph, as well as new material including Joe’s latest single Gloria, written by acclaimed songwriter and 10CC frontman, Graham Gouldman.
Speaking about how the idea for the album came about, the 26-year-old from South Shields said: “I’d been doing Joseph for a couple of months and Bill Kenwright (West End theatre producer of Joseph) asked if I’d be interested in doing an album as a way of celebrating working together, and what better way of doing that than with songs from the movies and musicals in the style we’ve been doing?
“I work with a large team of people and we all sat down and chipped in with ideas of songs we loved or ones we thought would suit my voice. So there’s songs like Love Is All Around and I Don’t Want to Miss A Thing, which I love, as well as Any Dream Will Do and Close Every Door from Joseph. We went away and came up with some new arrangements and then recorded it.
“I wasn’t sure how well it would be received until we went out on tour with it. I knew everyone would know the songs, but wasn’t sure if they’d like me singing it. But we’ve been on tour a week now and we’re getting great feedback.
“I love being on tour and the atmosphere of performing with a live band and I feel like this album and tour is representative of my musical journey so far.”
As part of the tour, Joe will be visiting his native north east, including a date at Sunderland Empire on Thursday, August 10.
Joe, who rose to fame after winning the X Factor in 2009, says it’s always special to perform on home turf, even though it’s usually a flying visit.
“I always make sure the Theatre Royal in Newcastle and Sunderland Empire are on the tour dates as they were the theatres I would go to see shows when I was growing up,” he said.
“I’m especially looking forward to the Empire date as I’ve never performed with my own show there before.
“On the north east date my friends and family all pack into the theatre to see me on the afternoon as it’s the only time they get to see me. But I always look forward to it, you’re always guaranteed a good audience up there.”
He added: “I think it’s really important to tour to theatres as it’s a place where you can inspire people. They’re often the venues where young people go, which sparks their love of performing arts, like it did mine.”
Saturday Night at the Movies, which was released earlier this month, is the latest studio recording from Joe, who already has four top 20 albums under his belt, two of which reached the UK top three. His debut single The Climb went to the top of the charts and was nominated for the Best British Single BRIT award in 2010.
Joe’s joined on the tour by special guests, X Factor’s Lloyd Daniels and Any Dream Will Do runners-up Keith Jack and Ben James-Ellis, who have all featured in Bill Kenwright’s production of Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat.
They’ll all be on the Saturday Night at the Movies Live tour until the end of August before it’s back to the loincloth for Joe when he returns to Joseph in September ahead of its Christmas residency at Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle.
He said: “It’s great being able to do the two, Bill Kenwright and the team have been very good to me. Joseph was a big step for me, because I had never been in a musical for that length of time before, but I’ve been overwhelmed by the response, it’s been so humbling.
“Sometimes the biggest risks have the best pay offs and all the reviews and feedback has been amazing. It’s a show I love with great music and having a Christmas run in my home region is the icing on the cake.”
l Saturday Night at the Movies Live with Joe McElderry is at Sunderland Empire on Thursday, August 10.