1970s British pop star Gilbert O’Sullivan will launch his first U.S. tour in over 40 years this spring, a nine-date trek starting April 12 in Washington, D.C., and scheduled through an April 26 concert in Los Angeles.
After two well-received shows in New York City and Philadelphia last July, the 73-year-old Irish-born singer/songwriter/pianist tells ABC Audio he’s looking forward to playing a more extensive series of stateside gigs.
“I was pleasantly surprised, the reaction was really good,” he says of last year’s concerts. “And the interesting thing, too, is that we had a big [U.K.] hit…with a song called ‘Ooh-Wakka-Doo-Wakka-Day’…and I mentioned to the audience that I didn’t think they’d really know much about that song, but they really liked it. In fact, some people were actually singing it. So…the response was great. And long may that continue.”
O’Sullivan says his set will be “a mix” that includes “all the well-known songs, an element of album tracks…[and] a sample of the new material…[And] there’s fast, there’s slow, there’s medium, there’s quiet.”
Among the well-known songs are the three top-10 U.S. singles Gilbert had in 1972 and ’73 — the chart-topping smash “Alone Again (Naturally),” “Clair” and “Get Down” — while the new stuff includes songs from his latest album, 2018’s Gilbert O’Sullivan.
When he hits the stage, O’Sullivan won’t quite be alone: He’ll be joined by guitarist Bill Shanley, who also is a longtime member of Kinks frontman Ray Davies‘ touring band.
“He’s essential to what the two of us are doing,” O’Sullivan says of Shanley. “He’s a great player, and…we were lucky…that this year Ray is not on the road.”
Visit GilbertOSullivan.co.uk for a full list of tour dates.
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