MUSIC is a precarious career to choose. As well as the highs, it’s full of rejections and heartache, but for some “the alternative is too grim to contemplate”.

Self-taught multi-instrumentalist, Paul Carrack, fits in this mould of determination. “I’m a bit of a natural, but so too are a lot of people out there,” modestly quips the musician. “I suppose if my life was a musical note it would be a C Major.”

From the first time he “bluffed” his way into a Merseybeat-style band at school, Paul has made a successful career for himself with several hit-making bands. In the ‘70s, it was writing and singing How Long for Ace and playing the keyboards during Roxy Music’s most successful phase. In the ‘80s, he took over the keyboards from Jools Holland in Squeeze and sang lead vocals on the band’s biggest hit Tempted. And then he joined Mike Rutherford from Genesis in his band Mike + The Mechanics and sang the band’s chart-topping Living Years. Just a quick look at his website lists how many musicians Paul has worked with, and hits he’s collaborated on. Yet he’s not a household name.

“And that’s the way I like it,” states Paul. If musicians were on a scale of achievement he puts himself comfortably in the middle.

For the past decade, Paul has been carving out a successful solo career performing rhythm and blues; to which his soul-drenched vocals are ideally suited. And he’s been on the road for the past six months touring with his eight-piece band around the UK. Dubbed the I Know That Name Tour, and named after his new album, it’s a nod at the notoriety Paul’s work receives.

“I write these break up songs, I don’t know why, my own family situation is very happy,” quips Paul. “My upbringing was full of love; but I think, when I lost my dad, it was a major blow. I was 11, so I suppose that has influenced my tendency towards the melancholy.”

Now based in Chorleywood, this consummate musician man, who has four children – with only one following in his footsteps as a drummer for a covers rock band Cool Beans and a prog rock band called Straight Circle – life is good. But it hasn’t always been this way.

“When I started out it was unbelievably tough. I’d go for long periods of time without a decent meal and sleeping rough. My mother used to say that what kept me going was the fear of real work. But to me it was just an adventure from a grim life. An escape from the inevitable working in the local Sheffield colliery.“