When Glass Tiger’s Alan Frew released his ‘Rewind’ album in November 2015, it served as his salute to the 80’s and 90’s bands that he shared stages and the charts with.
The 12 tracks on that release covered classics by the likes of Tears For Fears, Human League, Paul Young, Peter Gabriel, and even some eclectic covers by Sinead O’Connor (“Nothing Compares To U”, Madonna (“Live To Tell”) and Cyndi Lauper (“Time After Time)”.
“It was my first run at it, listening back to it now, I think I nailed a few of them while others hit the goalpost. Now though, we’ve got some killer versions of those songs as well as tracks by artists like Jesus Jones, The Cult, INXS and Midnight Oil, and doing Volume II, I feel is definitely in the near future.
Frew explained over the phone as he promoted his Back To The Eighties and Nineties concert on Saturday February 17th at Toronto’s Opera House.
“The late Deane Cameron (former President of Capitol/EMI ) initially proposed the idea of me doing a British Invasion album, reflecting on my Scottish heritage,” Frew noted.
“We tried a couple of things, but I felt more comfortable with songs from the same era as Glass Tiger. It just felt more honest and realistic for me,” he concluded.
So Frew tackled songs that not only were reflective of that Eighties and Nineties renaissance but also blended with his own distinctive vocal style. “When a guy tackles songs by a female artist, I think it adds a new twist to that song.”
With a band that features three guitarists: Sean Kelly, Russell Grey and Bob MacAlpine, drummer Chris McNeil. bassist Tom Lewis, keyboardists Peter Kadar, Matt Griffin and background vocalist Carmela Long, Frew anticipates presenting a litany of classic rock-pop songs that should appeal to not only a core of classic rock fans but that will also engage a new era of younger fans just discovering these songs the likes of which at featured on film soundtracks and, yes, a vast array of popular commercials.
But that’s not to say that Glass Tiger is totally redundant. They are set for a number of festivals and concerts this summer including a date at Casino Rama on April 27th but Frew seems to feel it may be while for them to release any new albums in the immediate future.
“We used to joke that we are the most industrious, laziest band going,” Frew joked. All the success we have enjoyed and all the Juno Awards we have won are all based on three studio albums and a couple of EP’s” he noted. “One can only imagine what it would have been like if we had put out 10 or more albums like many of our contemporaries have. Yes, we have a lot of new material but it takes a lot to get us together in the studio, but never fear, as always, we will eventually get around to it.”
As for future activities, Glass Tiger has Summer and Fall dates coming up. He also admits that he would love to see his 80s>90s Rewind band get a chance to bring their show across Canada if given the opportunity.
“This show, February 17th at the Opera House, will be a real litmus test for us,” attests the singer. “ I love performing right now, my voice is still at the top of its game and I would love nothing more than to tour this.”
When asked if he ever thinks about retirement he responded, “ I will know myself when the time comes to wrap it up. For me it’s all about the voice. If it ever starts to wane I will consider it. Let’s just say I don’t see us doing one of those endless final tours just for the hell of it. I always and only want to perform at the top of my game. That’s it!”
Tickets available here.