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Q&A with Tommy Fleming: 'I try not to have regrets'

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Tommy Fleming during one of his final ‘Tommy’s Jeep Tunes’

Tommy Fleming during one of his final ‘Tommy’s Jeep Tunes’

Tommy Fleming during one of his final ‘Tommy’s Jeep Tunes’

Singer Tommy Fleming has been entertaining his fans and keeping himself occupied during lockdown with his 100 Days of Jeep Tunes. Here, he tells Barry Egan what else he has been up to, about his fears for the live music industry, and his biggest regret in life.

What is your current state of mind?

I’m doing okay to be honest. Acceptance of where I’m at right now re my job which is completely on hold and making sure I use this time wisely and creatively.

How’s life in Sligo?

We’re blessed where we live beside the beach. However, it’s pretty crowded at the moment with staycationers.

There’s lots of open space and it’s right on the Wild Atlantic Way. I’ve loved being here since my childhood. It’s also great being home for an extended period as my work takes me all over the world.

What music have you been listening to in the lockdown?

I only listen to music when I’m running, which varies depending on my mood! Could be Rod Stewart, Planet Earth II soundtrack, Frank Sinatra or even classical. It’s always varied. I’ve been listening to a shed load of backing tracks for the 100 Days of Jeep Tunes I did through out lockdown.

Any favourite albums that you returned to?

Greatest Showman, Les Miserables, Hamilton and a few Irish albums like Dervish.

What is the greatest song ever written and why?

I’m biased on this one. Bright Blue Rose - Jimmy MacCarthy. It’s been with me since I was 18, I love singing it, love how it flows and love the reaction from the audiences when I sing it.

What is the greatest song you have ever written?

I’ve never really regarded myself as a songwriter, I’ve always regarded Jimmy Mac, John Hurley and Christie Hennessey as real writers. I feel I’m more of a vehicle for their songs.

I co-wrote a lot of the music for the show 'Paddy' which I played the lead in and my fave song from that show is The Fool That Lost It All.

What is the biggest misconception people have about Tommy Fleming?

That I’m taller! A guy in Drogheda actually said after a show, “I Thought You were taller? But, now that I’m looking at you, you’re a real short-arsed f**ker.” All I could say was, "Thanks!"

When can we expect to hear some new Tommy Fleming music?

I’m hoping to release the 30th anniversary album next year called 'Past And Present', the very best of. I’m going to record some new songs for this album.

How has Covid-19 affected your creativity?

It’s forced me to work on different things, for example a new script for a musical drama and writing songs for this show. It’s given me purpose I guess.

Have you written any songs inspired by the lock-down?

None I’m afraid.

When do you think you will be back gigging?

Hopefully next year, it’s pretty worrying not knowing what’s going to happen with the live music industry.

What is your greatest fear?

Heights.

What makes you angry?

Animal abuse and cruelty, it boils my blood. Puppy farms are a huge part of this. They need to be more regulated, if not completely outlawed.

Which living person do you most admire?

At the moment it’s Dr Tony Holohan; how he handled the Covid 19 situation, how he reassured a nation at their most feared vulnerable time.

What living person do you least admire or despise?

That’s easy. Donald Trump. I think his arrogance and lack of intelligence is very dangerous.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

My impatience, I need to do everything yesterday.

What is your greatest regret?

I try not have regrets but, my biggest regret is not cancelling my UK tour sooner than I did in March 2012 when my Mam and Dad were dying. I always wish I’d spent much more time with them.

When and where are you happiest?

At home with my family and on stage - both of these are my happy and safe place.

Which talent would you most like to have?

Be better at DIY and be a real good song writer.

What makes you laugh out loud?

I laugh out loud regularly, our best friends Gerry and Cathy and Derry Girls.

What have you binge-watched on Neflix?

Everything! London Spy, Tiger King, The Crown, Secret City, and that’s just a few!

Online Editors