SHAKIN’ Stevens chats to Leisure Live about where it all started, his brand new tour and how, almost 40 years on, he’s still as determined as ever to be the best...

In the early 60s in a sleepy suburb of Cardiff, a classic underdog story was starting to form. At the time Shaky (real name Michael Barratt) was in his early teens, singing in school, and working in the wood yard on a Saturday.

From the age of 15, he was forming bands, performing in pubs, clubs and church halls. Starting from nowhere, and with “just pure determination” as he puts it, Shaky became an unrelenting force in British music becoming one of the most successful acts of the 80s.

“I’m a great believer that you only get what you put in – and I put it in everything I could,” says Shaky who shows no sign of slowing down, with his new tour which includes a date in Bournemouth.

“When I started we were travelling in vans, at that time we couldn’t afford B&Bs, so after the gig the band would all climb in the back of the van with our fish and chips and then wake up in the morning - six sweaty musicians, all the gear around us,” he laughs.

“Then we’d go have a shave, a wash down and on to the next gig. So it’s perseverance – I was determined to get there in the end. It took me a long time to get there, but here I am.”

Here he is indeed. His new tour Greatest Hits – and More! sees him travel across 18 cities in the UK and Europe.

“There will be hits,” he says excitedly. “Some I haven’t sung for a long time. Songs from my record collection and of course newer tracks from the Echoes Of Our Times album.” Shaky has an abundance of 33 hits, with 15 UK Top 10 singles that he says have been “brought up to date, but still recognisable”.

He agrees it’s quite an achievement that after 40 years people are still coming out to see him perform live.

“It’s really good that they’re still coming and even better that as my music moves on they move on with me. [Back in the day] it was mums and dads that were the fans, and then they introduced the kids to the Saturday TV shows and Top Of The Pops, then they bought their kids to the gigs. On the last tour I met a couple of people backstage who were not kids any more! They were in their 30s and 40s and telling me they’re still coming because they love it – and they’re the core of my audience.”

Not one to rest on his laurels, he’s already working on a follow up to Echoes Of Our Times which will “keep on with the rootsy style,” Shaky says.

“It’s a move forward for me. We recorded songs at the same times as Echoes so we’ve got stuff there to look at that could fit in. There definitely won’t be a photograph of me on the front cover, we’re not going to go back to that,” he chuckles. It appears he’s more interested in his current musical outgoings than rehashing his old material and style, adding: “I’ve got a lot, lot more to give yet.”


As a special offer for Daily Echo readers we have two pairs of tickets to give away for Shaky’s show at Bournemouth Pavilion on Friday, March 8. All you have to do is send your name and daytime contact number on a postcard to: Shakin Stevens Reader Offer, The Daily Echo, Richmond Hill, Bournemouth BH2 6HH. Closing date Thursday, February 14. Usual rules and regulations apply. See