Irish date pencilled in as George attempts to resurrect his career
JUST seven months ago, he was still in jail for driving while under the influence of drugs.
But yesterday, a healthy-looking, clean-cut, George Michael announced he was going back on the road with a major European tour.
'Symphonica' will see the 47-year-old take to the stage at dozens of arenas, including Dublin's O2, to play a selection of his own songs, as well as covers of some other favourites, all reworked and rearranged for an orchestral backing.
"I felt really re-energised after some of my recent, erm . . . troubles," he said, with a wry smile on his face, during yesterday's press conference in the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, London.
"But I better keep it about the music," he teased. "You lot know only too well how willing I am to talk about myself."
Last autumn, Michael served four weeks of a two-month prison sentence, and now, by his own admission, he needs to find ways to keep his demons at bay.
"In terms of trying to stay on the straight and narrow, there's nothing better than doing work you love.
"I'm in recovery from a very long period of grief and self-abuse, so I thought I should tour sooner rather than later to maintain that impetus, to take care of myself and appreciate what I have," he said.
In between breaks on the tour, Michael will be recording with what he describes as "a gay dance collective" featuring him and other, possibly unknown, artists.
Fans will hope that Michael's gig in Ireland later this year will run a little smoother than his last outing here. The singer cancelled a show at the RDS in June 2007 during his '25Live' tour. Management blamed the pull-out on a delay in transportation of stage equipment from the Continent.
However, the fact that Michael was due in a London magistrates court on those drug-driving charges the day after his planned Dublin gig was more likely the real reason for the last-minute cancellation.
Michael played two make-up gigs in The Point two months later.
The singer will play the O2 Arena on November 1. Tickets go on sale from Ticketmaster next Monday at 9am.