Singer Errol Brown is facing the final curtain in Birmingham. The 60-year-old former Hot Chocolate frontman says his show at Symphony Hall on February 26, will be his last ever public performance.
It’s the final date of his farewell tour which takes in 21 venues across the UK.
“I last toured four years ago and I told my family and close friends then that I wouldn’t be doing any more live shows,” says Errol, speaking from his home in the Bahamas. “But I thought about it and realised I should come out and say farewell and thank you to the fans who have given me so much support and joy over the years.
“It’s going to be very emotional. When I come to Birmingham and I say goodnight it will be closing the door on a fantastic life and that’s going to be tough.”
Next year also marks the 40th anniversary of the formation of Hot Chocolate, the band with whom Errol enjoyed hits like You Sexy Thing, It Started With A Kiss and Every 1’s A Winner.
After being signed by producer Mickie Most they had their first success in 1970 with the single Love Is Life. The band went on to amass over 30 hits over the next 15 years, and are the only group to have had a hit for 15 consecutive years in the UK.
In 1985 Errol left the band and took time out to spend more time with his wife and young children.
“The group and I had begun to grow apart,” he explains. “Looking back, I had a wonderful few years. We planted a seed and it was amazing to see it flourish. A big part of that was due to Mickie Most who had a tremendous ear for hit songs.
“But the fact that it all fell apart is normal in bands.”
Errol went to have a successful solo career, particularly when You Sexy Thing was included in the hit movie The Full Monty.
Sold out tours of the UK followed and in 2003 Errol was awarded an MBE for his services to popular music. In 2004 he was presented with an Ivor Novello award which recognised the quality of his songwriting.
As far as Errol is concerned, it can’t get much better.
“I feel I’ve done my thing and you’ve got to stop sometime. It’s not that I’m too old, I just feel contented with what I’ve done and I can now say goodbye. It’s nice to be able to do that otherwise you become like a soccer player who keeps playing when his legs have gone.”
Some musicians cease touring in order to concentrate on recording but that’s not for Errol.
“I have a theory about music – you have your time,” he says. “From a creative point of view and from a lifestyle point of view I have nothing else to say. In my life, as I grew up, I had a lot to say but I’ve been married a long time now so there’s not too much that I can be talking about in that way. You have to be real – there’s nothing else to write about that people would want to buy from me, so I don’t do it.
“I haven’t written a song for six years but I don’t miss it because I look back at my body of work and say ‘you’ve done great, kid’.
“I wrote songs that were meaningful to me and I don’t want to write things that mean nothing much.”
So how will Errol fill his time?
“I have a good solid group of friends. We play golf and talk rubbish,” he says. “I also have a big charity event that I do every year in the Bahamas for Children In Need At Christmas. It’s one of the biggest golf tournaments in Nassau and we raise a lot of money.”
He adds that although he won’t be singing and recording he may retain a small interest in the music business.
“I’m trying to get a deal in America for a singer/songwriter called Alexia. I heard her singing acappella at a friend’s wedding and her voice was tremendous, like something between Whitney and Mariah Carey,” he says.
Errol returns to the subject of his final show and reveals how he will bring down the curtain on his career at Symphony Hall.
He says: “There will be an encore of Disco Queen and the final track will be Thank You For The Night which I wrote a few years ago and expresses everything I want to say.”