Apparently you’re clearing the decks for retirement from music. Yeah, in 2018. There will be no touring next year. I’ll be concentrating on writing and recording the album Weltschmerz, which I’ll tour in 2017. And the following year – in which I turn 60 – is the farewell tour.
How does that make you feel?
A bit nervous. But in 2020, maybe, if I decide I want to put together a few unplugged gigs, I can. It’s the electric thing that’s ending in 2018. Or if the book is written I can do a spoken-word tour for a few laughs.
Why exactly are you stopping?
Touring is getting harder and I had a reality check. I realised I’m never going to get back to those venues that hold three thousand punters. I’m resigned to being on a tour bus, and there comes a point when you have to say no.
You just mentioned a book.
There’ll be an autobiography. Not your average rock autobiography. If I get this right I’ll be able to support a writing career for at least two years. At the moment I’m writing sleevenotes for the reissues.
The first batch of those – Sunsets On Empire, Raingods With Zippos, Fellini Days and Field Of Crows – was supposed to come out in June.
Sunsets, Raingods and Fellini are available on the tour, Crows will be out by December. Each is a three-CD remaster, most of them with demos and rarities and sometimes with live tracks. My sleevenotes are pretty extensive. Those that have read them say they place the music in a whole new perspective.
On these dates you’ll be playing your old band’s classic Misplaced Childhood album in its entirety.
I’m loving it. We did that throughout the summer. The UK dates are almost sold out, and we haven’t had that for years.
The tour winds up in Glasgow on December 13.