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Hugh Cornwell's perfect weekend

Entertainment | Published:

Former Stranglers frontman Hugh Cornwell was one of the UK's most successful post-punk singer/songwriters. At weekends he likes nothing more than a lie in, a vodka tonic and a spag bol.

Former Stranglers frontman

Hugh Cornwell

was one of the UK's most successful post-punk singer/songwriters. At weekends he likes nothing more than a lie in, a vodka tonic and a spag bol.

It's a Friday afternoon. What's on your mind?

The thing is, I think wherever you are and whatever you are doing, you can't get away from the fact that it's coming up to the weekend. In my case, I'll be thinking about having some fun.

My Fridays usually involve work. Being a performer, I tend to be playing most weekends. Usually, I'll be gearing up for a show and I'll be looking forward to it.

A weekend crowd is usually more fun than a Tuesday night crowd, for instance. The people come to the shows up for it. When the audience is in a great state of mind, I feed off the buzz and it makes everything come together.

Who normally has the pleasure of your company at the weekend?

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I'm very much a loner and I'm a single man, for my sins. So I really love waking up at the weekend. It's a time when I can indulge myself.

I'm on the road at the moment, so I'm with the audience at the weekend. The tour is a mix of new songs from my solo record, some of the older stuff and some covers of tunes that turned me onto singing in the first place, things like The Everly Brothers.

How do you prepare for a big night out?

I have a kip in the afternoon, that's essential. I'll make sure I get 40 winks at 4pm or 5pm. If it's a proper big night out, I'll have a couple of nights off the sauce beforehand, so that I can really go to town and enjoy it.

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What's your favourite party outfit?

I wear a skintight leather dress, with leather high heels and very gaudy pink eyeliner . . . No, I just chuck something together, I'm very causal. But I like to look good, I don't like to look like a tramp.

You've just arrived at the bar. What's your first drink?

It depends which bar and where I am. It also depends what I'm doing and who it's with. But you can't go far wrong with a vodka tonic.

What's your favourite nightspot and why?

That's a very tough question. I think I'd have to say the bar at Theatre Severn, in Shrewsbury.

What tune always gets you on the dancefloor?

I'm really boring because I just like moving without actually dancing. I can't stand dancing because I have to put my drink down.

I guess the tunes will depend on where I am, but if I had to pick three I'd put my money on The Kinks' You Really Got Me; if I'm allowed to pick one The Stranglers song I'd go for Golden Brown and then I'd probably chose something completely different, like that Prince song, 1999.

What's your most memorable weekend ever and why?

The one that I can't remember.

What's the recipe for a perfect night in?

That would be a great home-cooked food, and a movie. I love cooking, it's one of my passions. I cooked for Keith Floyd once and he absolutely loved it. He came round to my house and told me that he rarely got invited out because people wouldn't have him round for dinner.

They were scared that he wouldn't think the food was up to much because of what he did. So he was really happy to have an invitation from me.

I cooked him something quite basic, probably a spag bol, and I remember that he loved it.

He was really into the band and we had a good night.

Favourite DVD? And what would you eat while watching it?

I'd probably go for a lovely old black and white movie. Something like The Misfits, or maybe King of Comedy. The Misfits was such a great film, it was a great statement in cinematic history because of the context of how it came about.

The context was very powerful, three of them died, there was the Marilyn Monroe connection, there was the subject matter. It was all a strong moment.

King Of Comedy was the first De Niro comedy, it was so refreshing to see him do something like that, rather than just play the tough guy.

Sunday breakfast – cooked or continental?

That depends what's gone on the night before. If I'm up for it, I'd go for scrambled eggs and salmon, but there needs to be no milk in the eggs.

Sunday lunch – home cooked or down the pub?

I'll be at home, every time. You can't beat a good roast with all the trimmings. I love it.

When and how do you like to relax?

I like swimming, I like cooking and I like watching films. You can't go wrong with a good conversation, either. I love to travel, too, I guess I like anywhere that I've never been before.

You've got a whole weekend off and a wad of money in your back pocket – which country or city would you head to?

I would fly to San Luis Obispo in California, find a quiet Mexican hotel. It would be somewhere with a pool and I'd just sit there, swim and relax.

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