Rewind South 2018 – Interview with Tom Bailey from Thompson Twins

The Thompson Twins had huge hits on both sides of the Atlantic with their songs ‘Hold Me Now’, ‘Doctor Doctor’, ‘You Take Me Up’, ‘In the Name of Love 88’ and ‘Love On Your Side’  in the mid-eighties before disbanding in 1993.  Lead singer, Tom Bailey returns with his band to sing some of these favourites at Rewind South in Henley this August for the 10th anniversary festival.

Tom first performed at Rewind South in 2014 after not performing for over 20 years.  He didn’t know anything about Rewind until Howard Jones asked him to go on a US tour in 2014 and said it would start after Rewind – to which he asked what’s Rewind?!

We were delighted to catch up with Tom before his performance next month to ask him what’s he’s planning to perform, to reminisce about the 80s and who he’d like to sing with at Rewind if he had the opportunity…

Do you have anything special planned for the 10th anniversary Rewind performance?

I want to play some new songs to the Henley Rewind audience. It’s been a while since I last played there… and a lot has happened. We’ll be well played in too, as we’re taking a break from a long US tour to do Rewind – and that’s a change from the last time when it was my first pop concert for 27 years!

What is the best thing about performing at Rewind?

Rewind is a massive gathering of 80s music fans, so the artists who have a special relationship with them and that golden age of UK electronic pop find it especially rewarding. Plus there’s always the chance of a glorious English summer’s day.

Who would you like to sing with at this year’s Rewind South line-up if you had the chance and what would you sing?

I always sing along to OMD’s “Souvenir” whenever I hear it.

What is your best memory of performing in the 80s?

That it had no beginning and no end. I know we all categorise the decades but, in reality, everything is part of a continuum. All the 80s musicians were listening to music in the 70s.

What are the rest of the Thompson Twins members up to now?

The TTs had lots of line-up changes over the years and I’m not in touch with everyone, but recently saw original guitarist Pete Dodd, who lives in the north of England. He came to one of our concerts and we had a great time. Joe is living in Southern California, working in neuro-linguistic programming, I think, and Alannah continues her extraordinary conceptual artwork and activism.

What is your favourite TTs song and why?

I particularly like “If You Were Here” for all sorts of reasons – including the fact that it was never promoted by us or the record company, but found its own level of success when it was included in a film soundtrack and seemed to sum up the romantic mood of the time. In the US this is a very big song for me. I added some extra verses which I sang for the first time at our last Henley Rewind.

Have you still got a copy of TTs on the front cover of Smash Hits?

No, I lost most of my press clippings along the way.

What things have you changed from performing in a group back in the 80s to going solo before you go on stage?

I really enjoy singing a few songs with the band before we go on stage. It opens our voices and warms us up emotionally, too.

What did you have in your dressing room back then and now?

Back in the day, there were always people working on clothes and hair…. these days, I don’t bother. And now I always have vegan food before and a bottle of kombucha afterwards.

Clothing company Gap used Hold Me Now in a new commercial this year.  How did you feel when Gap approached you and what has been the reaction of TT fans?

I liked the culture clash of the Gap commercial which used “Hold Me Now”, but I know many people prefer the original. The way I see it, we now have both versions…..and I think there will be more.

Does anyone have that elusive Smash Hits Thompson Twins edition in their loft they’d like to give to Tom?

Rewind South takes place between 17-19 August at Temple Island Meadows.  The line-up includes The Jacksons, Kool & The Gang, Status Quo and OMD.  Limited tickets are still available via south.rewindfestival.com

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