Joe McElderry interview
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat will be appearing at the Metro Radio Arena Newcastle for Christmas 2017
It’s not everyday that you meet a local who won the X Factor so when I was told I would be interviewing the lovely Joe McElderry about his role as Joseph in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat I was quite excited. We arrived at the Metro Radio Arena to hear the news that he was announcing something exciting for the end of the tour from Tuesday 19th December to Sunday 31st December, Joe will be on stage here at the arena as Joseph!
We were given all of the press information before Joe appeared in his full costume, his Technicolor dreamcoat shining away as he took the stage. He then began to sing us a couple of songs from the show and blown away can’t describe the experience. We were sat so close to the stage and his voice filled the room. There’s always a fear that when you see singers live that they can’t sing as well as they do on TV and that their voices are auto-tuned. This is definitely not the case with Joe McElderry. I can clearly see why he won the X Factor. His voice is effortless and strong with a huge range and he puts as much effort into this performance as if it is the opening night itself. Now six months into his tour as lead role Joseph, we sat down with him to talk about the show and all things Newcastle…
NOIN: What’s it like to bring the show to your hometown?
JM: To know some of the things that people have said about the show is lovely. There have been so many good reviews so it’s just the icing on the cake to bring this show to such a big scale and to my hometown. It’s definitely going to be a wonderful experience.
I went to college over the road, and when I was getting ready in the dressing room I was looking out the window an I can see my college. We used to come out on our dinner breaks and see if we could see anyone who was playing the arena. I never in a million years thought I’d be doing a two-week run here! The Metro Radio Arena is such a big deal and to hopefully fill it for two weeks is a big deal. I’ve played it a couple of times in my career so far, but I never thought that seven years down the line I’d have all these wonderful opportunities and to be playing such an iconic venue in the North East. I sat and watched people here and dreamt of being on stage here and now it’s me. It’s a bit daunting but I feel very very fortunate.
NOIN: How does your experience as Joseph in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat compare to your experience on the X Factor?
JM: Musical theatre is so different to the X Factor. 100% different. It’s a lot more disciplined. When you take on a character and a role in someone else’s work, you’re taking on their vision and work so you have to do it justice. You can do your interpretation of it but you’ve got to respect the person’s work. I take it very seriously. I didn’t want people to see me in the role and think ‘ he only got that because he won the X Factor’ I want people to go away from the show thinking that I did it well. When I first took the role I was quite nervous about it but we’re now six months into the tour I can relax a bit more about it. I did a lot of research on the role and there’s still stuff I work on now to make it better.
The great thing about this show is that you can be any age and enjoy it. It is a religious story but anyone can enjoy the show and playing it at Christmas time at home I think will be a great way to end the tour and give the final few shows a lot of meaning. It’s a fun night out, you can see people just relax in their seats when the show starts. We try to get as much audience participation going as we can and when the show ends we go down into the audience and do a mega mix to get everyone up and dancing. We do play huge venues throughout this tour but not a venue on this scale, which I think will have a great impact to end the tour. The show is going to be on a bigger scale and I think that’s just going to make it all the more exciting.
I work very hard behind the scenes. I’m not afraid to say that, it definitely didn’t happen overnight. I’ve grafted behind the scenes, which people obviously don’t see. But they don’t need to see that, I chose to do it because I love what I do.
They don’t need to but there are times when you do wonder if all the work you’re putting in is going to be worth it. There are low points in everyone’s career and in this industry you do get a lot of rejection. I spend a lot of time away from home and of course I miss my friends and family when I’m on the road but I choose to do it because I love what I do. I put a lot of hours in. People say that the X Factor is a shortcut into the industry and it is in a way but you have to learn so fast. But the real big challenge comes afterwards when you have to sustain a career. That’s the hard part that takes discipline. But you do get some amazing opportunities coming your way, just like what we’re announcing today. When you get to stuff like this it makes all the low points worth it.
I’m bringing out my new album in the summer and doing a solo tour as well as the Joseph tour, when you have these kind of moments, they’re the sweet spots that make all your hard work pay off.
I have a very supportive fan base. They’re a credit as to how I’ve sustained a career over seven years, without their support and praise I wouldn’t have my career. I can’t do it without them and they’re a huge part of my life.
NOIN: When you’re on tour, what do you miss most about Newcastle?
JM: I miss the normality of it. People from the northeast are very chilled, relaxed and friendly people and just so normal. Life up here is my normality; it’s not fake like show business can be. I come back here and life becomes normal again. When I’m in my job environment, there’s a lot of craziness. It’s very hectic and all-consuming in an unreal kind of way. I miss the North East when I’m away but then when I come back I just relax.
NOIN: So if you’re going out in Newcastle, where do you like to go?
JM: I love going down the Quayside in the summer, and I’ve been only a few times but I really like the Botanist it’s brilliant. Can’t go wrong with a bit of Rusty’s if you want a crazy night out. It’s a perfect place for some singing and dancing. I was home last week for a few days and went down to Boulevard and saw the show there and it was just fantastic! It was hilarious!
I always say this but that’s the best bit about Newcastle. It’s got an amazing nightlife and great entertainment all over the place. It has little pockets of nightlife dotted all around the city that is all really close to each other. So you can hop from one place to the next and experience a really mad night out in lots of different types of bars and clubs. Newcastle is definitely one of the best nights out ever.
NOIN: If you had the weekend off at home what would you do?
JM: If I had the weekend off up here I’d definitely go to the beach. I love going for a run on the beach. I live five minutes from it. Sometimes we just go up to Northumberland to visit places like Alnwick. It’s the great thing about the north east you can have the city, the beach and the countryside right on your doorstep. But to be honest, right now my bed is the place I want to be! At the minute on tour everything is so hectic and tiring, I just want to be in bed sleeping! That’s the perfect day off for me!
It was great to meet Joe, he is a really nice guy and I can’t wait to see him as Joseph when he comes up to the Metro Radio Arena later this year.
For further information or to book tickets for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor® Dreamcoat click here.