UK’s icon from the 60s, Marty Wilde, is on tour again in 2023, reminding Peterborough of the time he came to town.
One of the last rock ‘n’ rollers brought fun, laughter, and one hell of a performance to Peterborough’s Cresset Theatre.
Before the concert commenced, Marty Wilde welcomed me into his dressing room as though I’d known him for years. His kind nature and friendly smile lowered my nerves and made the interview a more relaxed environment. We sat across from each other as he told me of his experiences in the industry as well as how he feels now - performing at 82.
He stopped smoking and drinking in recent years which, he says, has allowed him to be more creative and happy because he loves what he does, something that was evident by the energetic performance on Sunday night.
When asked how he feels performing now, Marty said, “I don’t turn down very much because I enjoy what I do. I love my work, it's my lifeblood.” He tells me about how he always has music in his head and can draw inspiration from everything. Even a rap song, which isn’t his forte.
Alongside debuting his new album Running Together, Marty also paid tribute to friends lost by listing their names in his performance of Elvis Presley’s, Are You Lonesome Tonight and shared anecdotes of these legends throughout.
Marty paid special tribute to Eddie Cochran, an idol of his and a legend to others with the song ‘Eddie’ from his new album, sharing the anecdote of how he and Billy Fury first met him. “Billy (Fury) and I were in the dressing room when we had a knock at the door so I opened it and there stood Eddie Cochran. We almost fainted!”
Being one of the last rock ‘n’ rollers from the 60s he explains it as “weird, yeah weird. A creepy feeling at times because you see so many of your idols and contemporaries not there anymore.
“I try to live each day, as it comes but it is a weird feeling, a lonely feeling at times. Sometimes you look over your shoulder and you think, ‘that’s sad’ and you miss them. You actually do miss them. I miss the Everly Brothers, I miss people like Chuck Berry not being around, all those people. At times you feel lonely, you do.”
During the show, the audience played a big part in Marty’s performance keeping his momentum and energy up. During the height of Covid, he said, “When it first started to ease off a bit and the first early show I did the audience was segregated, quiet, frightened, masked and it wasn’t conducive to create a good show. But they’ve gradually got over that to a certain extent.
“They weren’t allowed to dance with Covid. So just imagine them all sitting there, segregated with masks on. It was pretty awful.
“I was heartbroken and the first show I did I thought ‘if that's gonna be what it's gonna be like I don't really wanna do this’. If it stayed like that I would have cut my work down drastically.”
The positive news was that the Peterborough audience gave him the energy he wanted with cheers, dancing, and singing as he performed. Giving him a standing ovation to walk off too. He even applauded them for being such a great audience.
During our interview, Wilde praised his new bass guitarist who comes from Peterborough, and said, “I’ve been in the industry since I was 17 so when I hire someone they have to be the best and Peterborough is producing the best.
“When I go out there tonight, win or lose, I will do my very best to make that audience happy.”