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Go West

Go West! An Interview with Peter Cox!

Go West are performing at this year’s Rewind South Festival at Temple Island Meadows, Henley-on-Thames on 22 August!
Rewind South

"We each died a horrible death!"

Peter Cox and Richard Drummie first met in 1974. Their debut single ‘We Close Our Eyes’ reached number 5 in the UK charts in the spring of 1985 and hit the top 10 in the US.

The ‘overnight’ success was followed by three further UK top 10 hits – ‘Call Me’, ‘Goodbye Girl’ and ‘Don’t Look Down’.

The album Go West sold 2 million copies worldwide and remained on the UK chart for 83 weeks, establishing them as one of the finest song writing partnerships to emerge in the 80s.

They have enjoyed chart success worldwide too, notable ‘King of Wishful Thinking’, the opening song in the hugely successful film Pretty Woman. 6 albums and 20 million sales later, Go West are stronger than ever, continuing to play live around the world, in 2013 they headlined a hugely successful tour with 80s contemporaries Hue & Cry and The Christians, playing to packed houses across the UK.

OX spoke Rewind and “oddball” fans with Peter Cox!

So you’re on the Rewind bill. Do you worry about going out performing old hits distracting from your new material?

No, not really, to be frank this is our 30th anniversary year and I’m very happy to be working!

And at Rewind we play to somewhere between 15,000 and 20,000 people on the day which is probably one of the biggest gigs we do in a year. It’s a great atmosphere there, everyone’s very positive and the production is decent so I get a chance to do what I do in the best possible circumstances.

I’m happy that the songs I’ve written with Richard have stood the test of time and 30 years later we’re still playing them to audiences that sing along with the choruses…what could be better?

Will you approach your Rewind set differently to your normal touring shows?

Absolutely. Everyone who plays at Rewind understands that the audience is there to reminisce a little bit, to live those years again; it’s not really a platform to introduce new material. We would be more likely to play something more recent or something new, perhaps a braver cover, at one of our own shows independent of a festival.

There’s a timing issue as well isn’t there?

You are allocated a time at Rewind. And there is, much to my amusement, a clock at my feet when I’m performing…making it very clear when my time is up!

It’s not uncommon at festivals actually; acts that perhaps have a slightly more improvisational style could get swept away in the moment and overrun.

You have to be respectful of the other acts on the bill – you want to let everyone else have a go!

What’s the relationship between you and Richard like at the moment?

It’s a long history, there’s no question. It’s a cliché but it is a bit like a marriage! Good bits and bad bits and finding a way to rub along together after 30 years.

But I think we’re both appreciative of the fact that we are fortunate to be working and still doing what we love. We do what we need to do.

What are the fans like nowadays? Is there a difference between now and then?

It might be hard for you to imagine but in 1985 we had quite a young fan base and we were naïve and marketed in a certain way that we weren’t really aware of until perhaps too late.

You shouldn’t complain when you have some degree of success, but I remember wishing the fans would stop screaming and listen to the songs; and you’ve got to be careful what you wish for because now there’s less screaming!

Have you had any weird fan experiences? People get obsessed and send funny things don’t they?

We had some of that, less so more recently. There are some strange people out there. We were marketed in a fairly glossy, poppy kind of way but we didn’t have an image that was more important than the music. That had pros and cons; had we had a stronger image we might have had better luck with our second album which took too long to make etc. etc. But on the other hand we haven’t attracted perhaps as many oddballs as other people have!

We did have someone that sent Richard and me each a series of drawings of our lives at the end of which we each died a horrible death! That’s something strange to receive from a fan!

For more about Rewind visit rewindfestival.com

 

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Thanks to Noble PR