Nick Heyward
Nick Heyward

Singer-songwriter Nick Heyward is promising to take his fans back in time when he appears on stage at Newark Festival.

Heyward, who started his music career as lead singer of new wave band Haircut 100, then embarked on a solo career, spanning seven albums and 35 years.

Touring with his album, Woodland Echoes, Heyward will be on stage on the Saturday afternoon of the festival.

He said he would take the Riverside Park crowd on a journey through time.

"I have an hour on stage so I think it will be the whole career, right from my Haircut 100 days all the way through to my new album," he said.

"It will go through all the music from the last 30 years —crikey, that makes me feel old.

"I take off and fly. I time travel. It’s a bit like the Richard Curtis film, About Time, where I disappear before coming back, thinking I can perform that song again."

Haircut 100 had four UK top-ten singles, including Love Plus One and Fantastic Day.

Heyward’s most famous singles were perhaps Whistle Down The Wind and Blue Hat For A Blue Day.

"The surprises in my show will be out of my control and that’s great — there are people out there who are surprised I am still alive," he said.

"I am looking forward to going for it.

"Something takes off when you go on stage.

"Afterwards I can feel physically and emotionally drained."

Heyward believes he is a different musician to when he first started, and is able to express himself better now.

"Your music develops along with you, that is the wonder of it — it comes out exactly how it is and from what your influences are at the time, but you don’t have a say in it," he said.

"As I developed as a musician I could express myself more — it is a bit like learning more vocabulary.

"I feel like a tailor or a shoemaker in my spare room, being able to make this stuff and look at my music more intricately."

He said as well as playing a good show for his loyal fans, he wanted to capture the imagination of a potential new audience.

"These shows can be an inspiration. There might be a child in the middle looking up, going wow," he said.

Newark Festival
Newark Festival

"They might not understand what is going on but just feel inspired by what they see.

"That is the way I felt growing up when I saw Count Basie, Oscar Peterson and Ray Charles at the Hammersmith Odeon as a child."

Heyward said reading a crowd and situation was one of his favourite aspects of performing live.

"You have this moment where you are standing on stage and you forget yourself," he said.

"Instead you are at one with what is going on at that particular moment.

"The other day was the royal wedding, and everyone was happy — we were playing Fantastic Day and I had that moment where I knew it was time for the band to stop to allow everyone else to take over.

"It was a lovely moment and for me that is a beautiful thing about playing live.

"It has taken a while to get used to. I was terrified to be on stage standing up there as it is a big responsibility, but now I am more comfortable."

Heyward will be joining Kim Wilde, Go West, Limahl, The Fizz and Hothouse Flowers at Newark Festival on June 16. The headline act is Marti Pellow, of Wet Wet Wet.

The festival starts on Friday, June 15 with Riverside Rocks, featuring tribute acts to The Who, The Stone Roses, The Rolling Stones and Queen.

There is a free Family Fun Day on Sunday, June 17, including activities and entertainment throughout the day, followed by the popular Swing In The Park evening concert and fireworks finale.

For information and tickets, go to www.newarkfestival.co.uk

Tickets can also be obtained from Newark Town Hall.

Gates on the Saturday open from noon with music from 1pm.