Best known as ‘the guy from the Barenaked Ladies’, the band that blew up back in the late 90s early 00s, Steven Page has toured the globe playing to millions of people. Since leaving BNL he hasn’t played a show in the UK. As he gears up for for his first run of UK shows in 10 years we catch up with Steven to see what he has been up to.
[AltWire/Allan Maxwell]: Hi Steven, how’re things?
Steven Page: Couldn’t be better. After 30 years I still get to make music for a living with people I like being around, so I’m feeling pretty lucky.
AW: So it’s been 10 years since you were last over in the UK. What made you stay away for so long?
Steven Page: I was pretty uncomfortable with you guys being part of the European Union. Actually, I’ve been wanting and trying to get back to the UK since I left Barenaked Ladies, and have been back on holiday and to see my friend and co-writer Stephen Duffy several times, but haven’t been able to make gigging work out until now. It’s mostly for mundane reasons (like lack of any record label support, followed by lack of any record label at all) that I haven’t toured the UK as a solo act, and eventually I just got sick of telling fans I was coming back without actually doing so, and worked with my booking agent & manager to finally make it happen.
[AW]: What are you looking forward to most about coming back?
Steven Page: I love being in the UK and would take any opportunity to come over there, so to be able to play shows whilst doing so is exciting. The audiences there have always been great for BNL and for me, and I think the fans feel possessive, like I’m their little secret. I’m more than happy to oblige.
[AW]: How does touring on your own compare to touring with BNL?
Steven Page: I’ve been performing as a solo act for over eight years now, so I’ve gotten pretty used to it. My touring setup is much leaner than it used to be with BNL, even when I’m doing a full-band setup. This tour will be as the Steven Page Trio, with Craig Northey (of Canadian band Odds) on guitar and Kevin Fox on cello, so it’s pretty easy to get around these days. This trio has been playing together quite a lot over the last few years and we’ve grown very comfortable with each other and with the songs, so the shows are really easy and enjoyable for all of us – and I think they are for the audiences as well!
[AW]: How does it feel touring the world again as yourself, rather than a member of BNL?
Steven Page: In some ways, it feels like starting all over again, particularly when it comes to profile and making people aware of the gigs and who I am (without always having to tell them I’m the “It’s been” guy from “One Week”), but then when I sing the songs, and the audiences join in, it’s as if I never left. I play a lot of shows in North America but it will be really nice to show people over there what I’ve been up to since leaving BNL.
[AW]: You’ve already sold out the first night in Glasgow, and added a second night. Do you think Glasgow has a connection with you?
Steven Page: King Tut’s was the first venue we ever played outside of North America where the audience sang along with our songs – it was a life-changing moment for us – so I’m really looking forward to being back. From gigs like T in the Park to the Barrowlands I have a lot of great memories of playing in Scotland, and I’ve always said that Glasgow was one of my favourite places to play. I’d be pissed if it wasn’t great this time!
[AW]: What can people expect from this run of shows?
Steven Page: The set lists will include songs from my three solo albums, including my latest, Heal Thyself, as well as a lot of songs I sang in Barenaked Ladies – a mix of singles like “It’s All Been Done” and “Brian Wilson” along with songs like “Break Your Heart” and other than people have been requesting on social media.
You can Catch Steven on his UK tour on the following dates:
SUN 22-Oct Leeds – Wardrobe
MON 23-Oct Cambridge – Emmanuel United Reform Church
WED 25-Oct Luton – Bear Club
THU 26-Oct Portsmouth – Wedgewood Rooms
FRI 27-Oct London – Bush Hall
MON 30-Oct Birmingham – Hare & Hounds
TUE 31-Oct Manchester – Deaf Institute
WED 01-Nov Glasgow – King Tuts
THU 02-Nov Glasgow – King Tuts