Interview: Marc Almond, singer

Marc Almond

Marc Almond

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If it’s near-death experiences you’re looking for, then Marc Almond is your man.

There was the faulty boiler which nearly killed him with carbon monoxide poisoning. And there was the time he was walking through Soho when a neon sign fell and skimmed the back of his head.

More recently was the motorcycle accident which put him into a coma for two weeks after he suffered life-threatening head injuries in a collision (rumours circulated that he’d actually died).

“I’ve had a cursed and charmed life all at the same time,” says the former Soft Cell singer. “I have extremes of bad luck and good luck. I sometimes feel that death is stalking me.”

Enough with the doom and gloom. The pop legend returns to the Capital on Saturday to play his biggest hits at the HMV Picture House - and he can’t wait.

“Edinburgh is one of my very favourite cities,” enthuses the 55-year-old. “I totally fell in love with it when I spent a month there during last year’s Edinburgh Festival, while I was doing Ten Plagues at the Traverse Theatre.

“It’s a beautiful, lively city with some of the best fish restaurants - perfect for me, as I eat mostly seafood. It was great being there for a long period of time so I could really explore it.”

Almond says he learned a lot doing song cycle Ten Plagues. “It was a whole new experience that took me out of my comfort zone. I surprised myself that I could do such a demanding piece but everyone I worked with was amazing and the Traverse made me feel welcome and at home.

“I felt I’d improved a good few notches as a performer and singer after the run of the production and I had so much more confidence in myself.”

This time, the Tainted Love singer returns as part of his Pop Troubadour Tour. “There was going to be a complete singles collection to coincide with it but due to some legal issues, the album is postponed until next year unfortunately,” he reveals.

“It doesn’t help that so many of my singles are spread over several record companies.

“I’ve done over 30 singles but I’m doing some of the most popular on this tour. I won’t be doing a tour like this again and some of the songs I’m putting to bed for a while.”

Given the current wave of 80s-inspired music, has the the electro-pop icon turned torch singer ever considered capitalising on the trend and returning to his original style of music?

“Not really,” he says. “I’ve no interest in parodying an 80s sound I was one of the pioneers of, but I don’t rule out ever doing more electronic tracks.

“I’ve recently recorded a few songs with a duo of electronic music producers and it’s very electronic old school... late 70s or early 80s if anything.

“I use whatever style of music fits the song. I tend to usually work more acoustically these days.”

Almond appreciated life when he was younger and still does now, but he’s come to realise how fragile life can be.

“I’ve no regrets really,” he says. “The mistakes help make you what you are.”

Marc Almond, The HMV Picture House, Lothian Road, Saturday, 7pm, £23.50, 0844-847 1740