Chad Valley were the first support act to join Erasure on the Irish and UK leg of The Violet Flame Tour and we caught up with him them to find out how the Erasure tour experience treated him…
Can you remember where you were and what you were doing when you heard that you were going to be touring with Erasure, and how did you react?
I think I had probably only recently woken up, probably a couple of sips into the first of many coffees of the day when I was very surprised to see an email with the subject ‘Erasure Tour Support’ – and I knew that could only mean one thing!
How did you feel before you stepped onto the stage for the first show in the tour?
I was actually very nervous – not least because its a big show and it had actually been quite a long time since we had done any shows – but also just because any show of that size slightly terrifies me.
How did you feel when you came off the stage?
An absolutely huge amount of relief. But I have to be honest that i always feel very self-critical after coming off stage. Myself and Pamela, my bandmate, always disagree on which were the good shows and which were the bad and there is always a little discussion, but very soon we’ll agree to disagree and then the first thing on our mind is ‘where’s the beer?’.
How have the Erasure audiences been for you?
I couldn’t have hoped for a better audience. I have been genuinely amazed at how attentive and forgiving they have been! I have done many tours supporting bigger acts and sometimes you really get the feeling that you are just a pointless distraction before the night really begins, but these crowds seemed really excited to hear something new.
For anyone who hasn’t been able to see you, what’s your show like?
There’s myself and Pamela and a big box of electronic tricks. Pamela has some excellent dance moves and has mastered the Janet Jackson-style dancing and singing at the same time; even playing some drums at the same time also. We both try and have as much fun on stage as we can with the hope that the fun will be somewhat infectious.
For anyone who doesn’t know you, which one song would you make them listen to ‘get’ what you’re about?
Probably ‘Fall 4 U’ because its the only song i’ve ever written that has multiple personalities and flits between styles somewhat. A bit like Bohemian Rhapsody, except not at all.
Have you been watching Erasure’s performances?
Nearly every night, yes. Its fascinating seeing how very slick and polished you get after a lifetime in the business. I have as much fun watching the audience too and seeing the looks of elation and joy on their faces and I can see how much Vince and Andy work off that.
What’s your favourite Erasure song from the tour?
‘Sometimes’ is one of my favourite songs of all time, so of course that has been an absolute joy to watch every night.
Have you abused your Access All Areas privileges to go into places you shouldn’t have gone?
No at all! Vince’s ‘Hang Room’ has not been breached! Actually i’m always walking into places that I shouldn’t go backstage – most of these venues are like mazes backstage with countless identical corridors and rooms tucked away there.
What’s on your rider?
I try to keep it healthy – fruit and no fizzy drinks etc – but if a bulk load of chocolate and crisps is offered then I wouldn’t say no!
What was it like when you first met Vince and Andy, and what did you talk about?
We had a nice chat with Andy about the tour in general and how everything works. Its pretty fascinating to me, as someone who tours a lot, to see how different bands do it. Of course, being the synth geek that I am, I cornered Vince and asked him about various synths I knew he was a fan of; also he was very complimentary about the remix I did for the a few months back, which was very pleasing.
What’s the worst thing about being the support act?
Well the only thing that is unfortunate is that we can’t play a longer set! I’d love to play for these crowds for an extra 20 minutes to really give them the full Chad Valley experience.
And the best thing?
Certainly being able to introduce myself to thousands of people and hopefully make some new fans.
How are you travelling from show to show?
My buddy Woody is driving us in his Skoda. We travel light, so its a comfy ride, and Woody is an old friend who I am enjoying spending some quality time with, although I am somewhat jealous of Erasure’s bus!
On a scale of one to ten, how much fun did you have?
9, but this could always get pushed up to a 10.
What’s happening for you next, when you finish your dates with Erasure?
Finishing my next album, which is very very close to completion, and then sorting out all the artwork and that kind of stuff. Its going to be a very busy christmas for me!