Interview: Robbie Williams speaks ahead of Coventry date
You would think that someone who has achieved stardom as a solo artist and as one of the biggest boy bands in history would get used to the adrennalin of performing live.
But there is still a sense of awe and even neuroses ahead of his date performing at The Ricoh Arena in Coventry on Tuesday June 13.
He said: Oh definitely an element of awe, that never stops. It never becomes ‘Oh yeah, I’m playing a stadium tonight’. It’s always, for me - I can’t speak for other acts - but it’s overwhelming and terrifying and I take being the conduit to people’s good times very seriously and there’s an awful lot of them! So yes, you never stop being in awe of the situation.
“I suppose I’m wracked with insecurities about some of the gigs on the tour to be honest with you about, ‘I’ve not been before. Is it a good gig? What’s going to happen? AM I GOING TO DIE?’ You know, that’s how my neurosis work.”
He will tour various stadiums across the country before going around the world.
Robbie will be performing tracks from his new album, The Heavy Entertainment Show, but is there a track he is most looking forward to performing.
Robbie said: “Yes definitely - ‘Mixed Signals’ which is the song that The Killers wrote, gratefully they gave it to me, so I’m looking forward to singing it in a stadium.”
But given there’s a new album to promote and a fanbase who still wants to hear a back catalogue from the last 20 years, how do you reconcile both ambitions.
Robbie said: “You have to take the audience into consideration yes, because I’m the vocal point of attention and it feels disastrous when you lose the energy of 80,000 people.
“I’m a big believer in giving them what they want, because I know what I want as an audience member.
“If I go to somebody’s show and I don’t know 3 songs in a row, I’m bored. I go to somebody’s show and I don’t know 4 songs in a row, I want to go home.
“I know what I want, even with big, big heritage named artists, I’ve been to gigs and gone ‘I’m really bored’. I know what is demanded of me and I can’t wait to do that.”
And does he have a favourite song to perform?
Robbie said: “Angels because it’s the last one Also the adrenaline of Let Me Entertain You... it’s like saying Coming, Ready or Not for me and for the audience.”
For a man who has made his name as a solo artist, he is always linked to the band that made his name Take That.
He most recently performed on the show Let It Shine alongside the band, an occasion which felt special for him as well as the fans.
“I was genuinely choked,” said Robbie. “There was genuinely a tear. I was genuinely overwhelmed with the love that beamed on us when we walked on stage.
“To see it in people’s eyes how much we mean to them and how much we’ve meant to them and how much we are the fabric of their lives and you know, and I instantly went on a time travelling journey in my mind and was overwhelmed by it. It was an incredible moment.”
And in particularly, performing The Flood must have been emotional?
He said: “I suppose that, but more so how good it is as a song, how great it is as a song. That was, it meant you know… it reminded how great it was as a song and that was more powerful than whatever time it came out at. It was just like ‘Wow, we did this, be proud’.
And now to the inevitable question, will we ever see Robbie Williams performing alongisde Take That again.
He said: “There’s an invisible cord that keeps pulling us back, and it’s a cord I’m quite happy that the universe tugs occasionally.
“If I was a betting man I would bet on that.”
The doors for the concert open at 6pm. Standing tickets for the show start at £77 and includes fees with a number of VIP packages available.
Tickets for the show can be booked by visiting www.ricoharena.com where more details can be found.