Lancashire Times
A Voice of the North
Graham Clark
Features Writer
2:43 PM 17th September 2020

Interview With Aled Jones

Aled Jones has performed for the Pope and the Royal Family. Next year he will be performing a series of concerts in cathedrals across the country. He has been awarded an MBE, released 36 albums and sold 10 million albums over his career. His Sunday morning show on Classic FM is one of the most listened to programmes on the station.

As busy as ever I spoke to Aled in-between appearing on the TV show Lorraine with his friend Lorraine Kelly and going over to Classic FM.

You are doing a tour of concerts in cathedrals next May, how did the idea come about?

I have always sung in them since I was 9 years old. We did something like this 4 or 5 years ago and it seemed natural to do a tour of them. All of them are different and I am looking forward to appearing in them all. I am doing the smallest city which is St David’s to the largest cathedral in Liverpool. The buildings are so beautiful, they just exist and of course the acoustics will be brilliant as well.

You are coming to Beverley Minister and Wakefield Cathedral too, have you been there before?

I have sung in both before, we did Songs of Praise once at Wakefield. I particularly like Wakefield Cathedral as it is at the heart of the city, it is right in the centre.

Liverpool has two cathedrals, have you been there before?

I visited the Anglican one last year when I was in Liverpool and wanted to visit it – it is enormous so it will be special to play the concert there. I am looking forward to playing Bangor Cathedral on the tour as it will feel like coming home but every cathedral on the tour should be special.

On the tour you will be joined by Carly Paolo, have you decided which songs you are going to duet on?

I have known Carly for 4 years now and always wanted to sing with her. On the tour she will be singing some duets with me and also performing some songs on her own. We keep sending each other messages about ideas for songs, we have a list of about 10 so far.

You have a new album coming out – Blessings to be released on 6th November, what can we expect?

It is again something that I have wanted to do for years. There is Dame Judi Dench on the album who duets with me on a Quaker hymn, Susan Boyle, Brian Blessed and D Day Veteran Harry Billinge, who reflects on the power of rememberance. COVID made us all think about life in a different way.

There will also be a book - Everyday Blessings released at the same time as the album, what is in the book?

The book is about blessings for every day of the year. You read it in the morning and take a blessing for each day. There is space too for you to write your own thoughts. If I had any words of wisdom it would be to make the most of every day. I am 50 this year and like you say time goes so quickly. I am over now half of my life so that is another reason to make the most of every day.

Do you listen to other types of music besides Classical?

I do, with my children they listen to pop music all the time so I pick up on things they listen to, in fact I would say I listen to pop music much more than classical.

You worked with Russell Watson on the In Harmony album, what was that like?

It was great – we had a really good laugh as we constantly take the mickey out of each other. I did some concerts with Russell too which were really good.

What has been the best and worst thing for you about the Lockdown?

The best thing has been being able to spend 24 hours every day with my family which I have never done before as I have been touring or recording.

The worst has not being able to sing in front of an audience. As I said I have been doing this since I was 9 years old. The Lockdown though has been horrendous for people who have lost their jobs, suffered mental illness and for those who lost loved ones. Hopefully a vaccine will be found and life can get back to normal.

The concert dates in our area are as follows:

4th May – Manchester Cathedral

25th May – Liverpool Cathedral

26th May – Beverley Minster

28th May – Wakefield Cathedral