Country singer Nathan Carter talks nerves, collaborations and nan on the tour bus in Hayes

IRISH Country music star Nathan Carter played to a sell out audience at the Hayes Beck Theatre last night.

The Liverpudlian lad’s new record Stayin’ Up All Night is his fourth number one album in his adopted country of Ireland, and his success is now filtering to these shores.

Nathan’s nan, famous for selling his CDs from her accordion shaped handbag, is touring with the band to run the merchandise stall.

“She’s on tour with us at the minute and is enjoying herself and is the last to bed every night, fair play to her.”

The popular singer, who turns 26 tomorrow, dropped by for an evening of country tunes for delighted fans.

“I’m glad to be back at the Beck Theatre because it’s a great theatre and was such a good show last time to be honest,” he said.

“It was sold old last time, and sold out this time too.”

This month saw Nathan overtake Beyonce and Drake to take the number one spot in the Irish album charts.

“We’re doing a lot of the songs from the new album, I actually wrote a lot of the songs so I’ll be performing them each night as well as the stuff that people probably know me for,Wagon Wheel, Caledonia and songs that we’ve been doing for the last five or six years really,” said Nathan.

His last album Beautiful Life has been certified four-times platinum and with the release ofStayin’ Up All Night, Nathan’s fan base continues to grow.

On the new album, Nathan said: “We made the album in a studio in Donegal where I took a live band into the studio.

“We recorded all the tracks live there and then and we took the first take from each track, so it was recorded in the old fashioned way where everyone was in the room together and I think it sounds more real that way.

“Rather than drum machines and everything recorded separately, it was done there and then which I like doing and prefer doing, and I would do it again the next album because I think you get a better result.”

From the age of three when he started learning the accordion, to being head chorister at Liverpool Cathedral, to singing for the Pope, music has always been at the heart of Nathan’s life.

With a stack of tour dates lined up, Nathan said: “I’m really looking forward to going home to Liverpool in September.

“There’s a lot of my family who never get to see me that are coming to the show, and friends I went to school with so it will be a special night for sure.”

Inspired by the country music his parents and grandparents loved – Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Don Williams and Dolly Parton – Nathan’s passion, talent and infectious personality has taken him from working men’s club gigs to the top of the charts with hopes for future collaborations.

“I’d love to collaborate with a lot of different people,” said Nathan.

“I suppose on an Irish level, maybe Imelda May, I really like her stuff, but I suppose on an international level a duet with Brad Paisley, he’s one of my idols so I love his stuff.”

The new tour contains a mixture of tracks that have been recorded over the years, but Nathan is not phased about performing brand new songs that have not been heard before.

“I used to get nervous a lot, but I always still get a little bit nervous before I go on, just because you don’t know what the crowd is going to be like,” said Nathan.

“Generally after two songs in you forget about that and enjoy yourself.”

The Beck Theatre show opened with lively Two Doors Down with the crowd urged to sway their arms in the air from the very first song.

Cheers across the theatre rang out when Nathan announced we’ll be here until 3am.

Nathan then performed Good Time Girls, followed by Beautiful Life from his last album.

The country singer sang Gilbert O’Sullivan song Get Down and showcased saxophone player John with a solo.

Spotting a sea of new faces, Nathan announced that if the audience did not enjoy the show, then his name is Daniel O’Donnell.

Nathan performed hit after hit before slowing things down with Caledonia.

New original Temple Bar was then introduced with a story about the making of the song.

“We were celebrating after my show on RTE and the band went for a few drinks in Temple bar,” said Nathan.

“A woman approached me and got talking so I said do you want a photo or a selfie?

“She looked bemused and replied ‘I’m only looking for the loo’.”

Nathan switched between a white piano and his famous accordion, accompanied by seven multi-instrumentalists playing guitars, bass, the fiddle, saxophone, harmonica, clarinet, organ, tin whistle, backing vocals, keys and drums.

Following a quick song on the accordion, the audience screamed when Nathan removed his jacket, with a few nonagenarians thinking they had arrived early for next month’s Dreamboys performance at the Beck Theatre.

Nathan talked about his childhood before singing self-penned Liverpool and a tribute to Merle Haggard with a medley of his songs before everyone danced in the aisles to Irish Rover.

The audience of young and old cheered and screamed for Wagon Wheel before a five song encore to round off the show.

The singer, most noted for singing Wagon Wheel and for his successful TV show in Ireland, headlines the London Palladium this Sunday, May 26.

“It’s one of the most prestigious gigs I’ve ever done,” said Nathan.

“Honestly, playing that stage will be amazing as it’s hosted so many names over the years, so for me to get a chance is really big.”

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