Yes, it's time for another catch-up Q&A, in which Dan tells us about video plans, how many tracks are on the new album and a special performance for some vets.
Hello Dan, how are you?
Good thanks. I've got a bit of a cold, though.
Did you catch that in Meribel?
No, I didn't actually. It was afterwards. I woke up on the Tuesday feeling rough as a dog. Which was unfortunate as we were playing the Royal Albert Hall that night. But I felt even rougher the day after, so I guess it could've been worse.
Was this due to burning the candle at both ends in Meribel?
How was Little World Festival?
It was wonderful. We'll definitely be going back to do it again next year. We're only two years in, really, but it feels like we're learning a lot and developing and getting better. And I think we broke even this year, which is pretty good. As long as it pays for itself, we're happy. But, yeah, it was really, really good.
Were there any highlights?
I can't even whittle it down, really. Sinead and Sophie were brilliant. Watching Squeeze was great. Ed Harcourt and Wallis Bird were fantastic on the first night. So many things, really. And the club nights were better this year too, we had more DJs down this time. Love To Love did a couple of amazing sets. And Freemasons were absolutely brilliant.
Do you feel like you have to go to every event because you're organising it?
Yeah, it's bloody exhausting.
Did you get to ski too?
I did a lot of skiing, actually. That's probably why I was so exhausted. And I presented all the shows in the Auditorium as well. I pretty much saw everything. I was bloody knackered by the end of it.
And The Feeling's shows went well?
Yeah, they did. We did the one on the piste, and a little secret one, and one at the Auditorium. It was all really good.
Then you came straight back and played the Albert Hall.
Yes. I croaked through the gig, but it seemed to go alright. I really enjoyed playing there, but I think I would've enjoyed it a little bit more if I'd felt a bit better. It was one of the few famous London venues that we hadn't done - so I can tick it off the list now. Maybe we can go back and play it again when I'm not feeling sick as a dog! But it was nice to play as part of the Teenage Cancer Trust shows. They're a great charity.
So, the single has gone back a little bit.
Yes, for a few different reasons. We asked it to be pushed back cos we weren't really happy with any of the video ideas. And we didn't want to be rushing anything, straight after Little World. We wanted to make sure that the artwork, the video, everything, was all right. The album is still due for the summer, though.
Are you feeling good about the whole campaign?
Well, it hasn't really started properly. We're not doing any promo or anything yet. And obviously these days the song doesn't go on the radio until the day it goes on sale. So you start building from the release date, as opposed to before it.
You've announced the Kew Gardens show since we last spoke.
Yeah, I think that's going to be really great. We're the first of this new season of shows they're doing and we're playing with Noisettes who are old buddies of ours. So that'll be really nice. They're such a great live band.
It does look like a fun day.
It'll be amazing, I think, with picnics and all that. I'm really looking forward to it.
Will there be a fuller tour later in the year?
Yes, that's the plan.
And is the album totally finished now?
It is indeed.
Are you happy?
I really am. I'm very proud of it. I just want as many people as possible to hear it.
Can you tell us how many tracks there are?
It's 12 again. As always!
And is the Set My World On Fire video shoot sorted now?
Yes, I think we're going to go to LA for it. We just decided that we needed a bit of actual sun. And you can't really guarantee that in London. So we're going to go over there. It'll be nice. I've got some friends over there too.
It's quite a classic 1980s thing to be jetting off to LA for a video.
I know, yeah. Although I'm sure we'll be in economy class and slumming it in the cheapest motel we can find! And there will definitely be no yachts.
Is the artwork finished?
Nearly. It's looking nice, actually. There's a kind of Hitchcock poster vibe to it. I really like the style of those old posters, which were done by a guy called Saul Bass.
Right, readers' questions. Frau would like to know what your favourite book is.
Gosh, that's a hard one. There's a few I really love. But I think I'm going to go with The Picture Of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde.
Andrew asks who your gay hero is.
I don't think I really have a gay hero. I do have heroes that are gay, though. I quite love Stephen Fry. If I had a gay hero, it would probably be him.
Ruth wonders which song you're most proud of writing.
It changes every day, but today it's probably Miss You. Or Rosé. People seem to respond to the ballads in a certain way. They seem to have a power to them, and they don't seem to date. I think I'll go with Rosé.
Claire asks if you're looking forward BSAVA Congress gig. What's that?
Ah, it's a private show at a convention for vets! I believe the BSAVA is the British Small Animal Veterinary Association. Actually, my dog Ted got eaten by a Rottweiler recently.
Oh no! Is he OK?
Yeah, he's fine, but he got quite severely mauled in the park. That means I've spent quite a lot of time with vets, recently. So I'm actually quite looking forward to the show!
Well, you are all dog lovers.
Exactly. We need to stay in with the vets.
Do you have any animal-based jokes ready?
I don't. Maybe we should change the setlist a little bit.
"Set My Cat On Fire"?
Perhaps not that. Although one of the original lyrics of that song was actually about Ted.
The final question is from Geoff, who notes that it's always said you're influenced by Supertramp, ELO and 10cc, but you've never covered their songs. Geoff wonders why.
Well, we are mildly influenced by those acts, but not really that much. It was just something that people could say. I think our influences came from bands that they were influenced by - the Beatles and the Beach Boys, really. And Queen. And a lot of the first album was also influenced by Pink Floyd and Stevie Wonder. You can hear hints of pretty much any big pop act in our music, really. So I think it's a bit of a misnomer that we were totally influenced by those bands.
And have you never covered them?
ELO are quite difficult, because you need lots of strings. So we haven't done them. I do love their records, though. And Supertramp's. And 10cc too - who I actually sang with a couple of times. So I suppose they're the one of the three that I have kind of covered!