1980s pop legend Paul Young coming to Rhodes Arts Complex in Bishop's Stortford with Los Pacaminos
He is one of the most instantly recognisable faces of 80s pop, but in truth, Paul Young's musical heart lies somewhere closer to the Mexican border.
Having formed Los Pacaminos just for fun back in 1992 during a period of down time from his music career, the talented Stetson-wearing seven-piece Americana outfit have gone on to become one of the UK's most popular live touring bands.
Performing at Rhodes Arts Complex on Saturday, January 18 - the day after Paul's 64th birthday - fans can expect a raucous Tequila-fuelled party night as they bring their own cactus-sharp brand of Tex-Mex border music to Bishop's Stortford.
Playing music from The Texas Tornadoes to Los Lobos and even Roy Orbison, the South Road venue will become the perfect cantina where the emphasis is on good music and good times.
A departure from the pop music that made him a household name back in the early 80s, Paul's love of the blues began as a boy growing up in Luton, but it was not until many years later that he had the opportunity to pursue what he has described as the sheer joy of playing Mexican border blues and the sounds of the American southwest.
Speaking to the Indie, he said: "It was through [American folk guitarist] Ry Cooder that I really fell in love with this hybrid music. [Ry] was working with lots of different artists at the time because he wanted to learn about different styles, and I remember he had three R'n'B singers and was doing a mix of stuff I already loved, like Stand by Me, but with a different twist. When I heard what he was doing, I was hooked."
Back in the early days, the dad-of-three said he could never have predicted the band would still be performing together almost 30 years later, but after each show the band played better and their friendship got tighter.
Made up of some of the most highly-respected musicians in the business, including Melvin Duffy, the UK's premier pedal steel player, its members have played with the best in the business, including Queen, Tom Jones and Robbie Williams.
Although he fronts the band, Paul said over the years the focus has shifted away from him being the main draw.
"When we first started performing, people would only come to see the band because I was in it, but these days we share the singing duties, which takes the heat off me," he said.
"Everyone has their own character so our fanbase has widened and actually people come because the guys are such great musicians and because it's such a lot of fun."
Providing an escape into a world of life down by the border, hot weather and good food, a typical Los Pacaminos set might include La Bamba and Wooly Bully as well as some of the band's original material.
With two acclaimed studio albums and two live albums under their belts, Paul said the buzz they all get from performing together is hard to beat.
"We love getting together," he said. "Although it's very much a weekend band, it's a very social gathering, we catch up on what we've been doing during the week and just have a great time. It's us versus our guitars and we don't want to stop."
Tickets for Los Pacaminos are £21.50 and are available from www.rhodesartscomplex.co.uk.
More by this authorEleanor Kent
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