There’s nowhere else like it in the world...

Will Young returns to Blackpool
Will Young returns to Blackpool
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He might have taken four years out from the music industry, but it feels like Will Young has never been away.

And later this autumn he makes his latest visit to Blackpool, with the Love Revolution tour, promoting album 85% Proof.

His last trip to the resort was actually during that break from music, in November 2013, when he played a highly-acclaimed Emcee in Cabaret - picking up an Olivier Award for his efforts.

The 2001 Pop Idol winner last toured with his own work back in 2011, marking 10 years since that fateful talent contest, where he beat firm favourite Gareth Gates and politely-but-firmly put Simon Cowell in his place.

While he may have stepped away from music, Will stayed busy during the break, adding to the Cabaret stint with presenting an ITV documentary on surrealist artist Magritte, blogging on politics for the likes of Huffington Post, wrote a best-selling auto-biography and fronted a campaign for Stonewall.

Then after moving to new label, Island Records, he stepped back into the recording studio last summer, creating 85% Proof in just over just five sessions between June and September last year, with collaborators Jim Eliot and Mima Stilwell, with inspiration coming from those extra-curricular experiences.

“What it [writing Funny Peculiar] did was really spark my love of writing again,” he said. “I felt like I’d found my voice again, just as a person.

“The stuff I’d been writing for the Huffington Post got me thinking about the wider picture. My job can be very all-consuming and very about me, but I started to think ‘well what’s this all about?’

“This is a way more inclusive record; less introverted and more ‘this is life, this is what happens’.

“A lot of my other records have been a bit ‘poor me’ and I’m not in that place so it wasn’t really inspiring me.”

Blackpool’s Opera House date comes exactly half way through the tour, with Will having spoken of his affection for the place when he last came.

At the time he said: “I’ve played several gigs in Blackpool over the years and I think the place has a real charm.

“There is nowhere else like it in the world I would say. It has a kind of heritage which is so specific.

“It has obviously changed a lot over the years, when people started going abroad more, but it still holds on to its character.

“It is quite a stoic place, the people are stoic and it has an individuality.

“It’s not bland. People are proud of being in Blackpool. I wouldn’t say people are that proud of living in Slough. People in Slough might be offended by that but they know it’s true!”

* Will Young, Opera House, Blackpool, Saturday, November 14. Visit www.wintergardensblackpool.co.uk to book.