Interview - When music fans gather at Frazer Theatre in Knaresborough next week they will see a musician who’s earnt the right to enjoy the best of both worlds.
Still playing with Wet Wet Wet, for whom he played a key part in writing and performing some of their greatest million sellers, versatile musician Graeme Clark also tours as an acoustic solo artist.
He’s at Heathrow airport waiting to board a plane to Brussels to play in a festival when he talks to me in advance of his Knaresborough show on Friday, August 23.
Sounding energised and happy after the personal troubles and addictions of the Scottish soul-pop quartet’s incredibly successful heyday, he says: “I’m pleased Wet Wet Wet’s songs still stand up now.
Graeme said: “Even as young men we understood that our ticket out of Clydebank was to write pop songs that would stand the test of time.
"We realised that commercial success would mean you reliquished 'credibility.'
"We grew up listening to Orange Juice. We loved Aztec Camera. Roddy Frame wrote fantastic songs and he was only 17.
"But it was pointless for us to go the indie way.
"Years later, people's record collections expand and they come to like different kinds of music.
His current tour see Graeme, 54, performing songs from a broad musical catalogue including slightly folk-tinged solo albums such as Radio Silence and Mr Understanding and a smattering of Wet Wet Wet classics accompanied by Stevie Lawrence on bouzouki and Fiona Cuthill on fiddle.
Some music fans may not know it was Clark who was largely responsible for hits like Goodnight Girl, Angel Eyes and Julia Says for Wet Wet Wet who, last year, saw lead singer Marti Pellow move on, with former Liberty X singer Kevin Simm stepping up to the mic.
Graeme said: “I play the songs that lend themselves to being played live stripped back and acoustic.
"I do the Wet Wet Wet ones that I can relate to, that I had a bigger hand in.
“It’s hard to figure what the music biz is these days. I heard if you got 300, 000 streams a month, you make the same as the minimum wage."
"If there’s one thing that has stayed the same, it’s the live gig.
"Playing acoustically magnifies the strength of the songs when they're good."
A man in a hurry, after the Belgian show it was straight back to Scotland for the multi-talented Clark to strap on his bass with Wet Wet Wet at Linlithgow Palace the following day in bill which also included Deacon Blue.