Once Scott Walker was among the most reclusive pop stars with a profile that rivalled Syd Barrett. These days however, he seems a lot happier chatting to people about his music and his ideas.
There has been one area though which has been pretty much no go for awhile and that is live dates.
Back in 2008 Walker did organise a night at the Barbican where groups of musicians, singers and dancers, including Damon Albarn and Jarvis Cocker, re-created tracks from Scott’s Tilt and The Drift albums. Walker was tucked away in the back wearing a baseball cap and conducting and encouraging the entourage.
Now it appears that the the singer has plans for live dates – his first since the late 70s.
In an interview with The Believer published here he talks about live gigs and says the following
BLVR: Are you ever concerned that the studio provides you with such a particular kind of comfort with recording and playing music that you have forgotten how different music “feels” in a live setting?
SW: Well, I haven’t performed in so long, but live performance these days is fantastic. It’s formed from all the stuff you have in the studio anyway, so it’d be possible to actually re-create this. We did something at the Barbican a number of years ago, with three or four nights of my songs. They were performed by other people, and Pete and I did the sound. All the musicians we used were there and all the strings were there. It was pretty damn close. The problem with me now is that whenever I sit down to write, my imagination expands and suddenly I have this cast of thousands I’m carrying around with me. The music becomes very demanding. There are no guitar breaks. No soloing, that kind of thing. It would be a very demanding night to do, and it would cost a fortune. No one—none of the promoters—would make any money. And that’s not the idea of live performance these days. But every time I do this, I sit down with an intention of writing something that I can play live, because my manager, everybody, is on my back about it. Of course, it escapes me. But next year I’ll try again. Come February, I’ll start to work again, and maybe I can keep it down. One certainly hopes.
Well that clearly sounds like a man who wants to get back on the stage. Scott for Glasto? I wonder what William Hill would offer on that?
Seriously though I’d love a live performance of his more recent stuff, and if he were to thrown in a few of his 60s classics too, well I might spontaneously combust.