Goldie returns to his roots: DJ talks career highlights, family and the future ahead of Wolverhampton show
“Alright bab, this is Goldie ‘ere from Wulverampton… ‘Ow am ya?,” answered a high-pitched Yam Yam accent.
“Threw you then, didn’t I?”
The 52-year-old artist will play Wolverhampton’s Civic Hall this Thursday, alongside The Heritage Ensemble.
And it could be the star’s last show in the area too; as he now intends to concentrate on his art.
“The show will be a celebration of some lovely music,” said Goldie.
“I’m only doing the five shows; I didn’t want to do any more. So come and celebrate with me - I’m not here much.
“Art is the only thing I’ll be coming back for. I’m not going to be doing any DJing next year.
“I’m hanging up my gloves while I’m still on top.”
Raised in a series of foster homes and and local government institutions around the Walsall area, drum ‘n’ bass icon Goldie had a tough upbringing.
He was born in Walsall as Clifford Price on September 19, 1965. When barely more than a toddler, Goldie was just three when his mother placed him into foster care (though she kept his half-brothers).
Despite this, the star made peace with his mother years ago - and still has a soft spot for Wolverhampton and the Black Country.
And he can’t wait to come home.
“It’s amazing to be coming home. I hope it’s a good show. I’m sure it is, I just hope we get a good turnout,” said Goldie.
“I came back to Wolverhampton with Timeless the last time about 16 years ago. I think Noel Gallagher was there - I introduced him when Paul Weller played there.
“I played it when my mum was there, which was lovely.
“I was coming home then, and now I’m coming home all over again 20 years later.
“These shows will be great, especially alongside The Heritage Ensemble. The shows with them have been amazing, because they’re like a jazz band and they’re on fire.
“There’s been some confusion between The Heritage Orchestra and The Heritage Ensemble; it’s like comparing the Range Rover Vogue to the Sport.
“The Orchestra is great, but the Ensemble shows are very powerful because they have the power of a small band. They’re all great players with a fierce energy.
“We played Ronnie Scott’s in London a few months ago. To play there with a band - I never thought I’d see that coming.”
Goldie will be performing his latest album The Journey Man, released back in June this year.
And though many will be more familiar with his hit debut album Timeless, the star claims this is his greatest musical accomplishment yet.
“The Journey Man is my greatest piece of work. I know that’s a strong comment and it’s coming from the creator, so I understand I may be looking through rose-tinted glasses,” explained Goldie.
“The Journey Man is an a full album - and people don’t tend to take the time to fully listen to things any more. Even I do it. There’s so much information in the air.
When people do listen to The Journey Man, a lot of them say to me ‘it’s a beast’ - and I say, yes it is.
“The album Timeless took about a year to really get off the ground. And it took about 20 years for it to be cited.
“When it was first released, some of the reviews were awful, saying things like ‘he’s mad as a box of frogs’ and ‘his face is like smashed-up crabs’. I just had to kind of grin and bear it.
“It was fuelled by my time in Heath Town and Hawthorne House. Driving to Wolverhampton to go to the Jungle Club. Learning to drive.
“The Journey Man is an album about all of that, but while Timeless was looking back at my youth, this is an album of the golden age.”
Timeless, released back in 1995, contained some of Goldie’s best-known hits, such as Inner City Life and Angel. Many of these songs have since been covered by an array of artists; something which the Walsall-born icon is keen to celebrate.
It also starred iconic jazz and soul singer Diane Charlemagne, who died back in October 28 at the age of just 51.
Goldie shared a version of Inner City Life with Diane in a precious moment while the singer was in hospital, which turned out to be the last time he would see her.
“It’s wonderful to hear my songs being played, such as Kemistry and Angel, by other artists - it’s like a celebration of my music,” said Goldie.
“I’ll never forget Matthias Vogt did a load of music with re:jazz.
“Gilles Peterson said to me ‘you’ve got to hear this version of Inner City Life’.
“When I did, I sat on my bed crying like a baby. It’s the best version of my music I’ve ever heard.
“What was so beautiful was a few years before, Diane Charlemagne and I had a falling out. We’d come to loggerheads about different things.
“I loved that girl. We got back together about 10 years ago and agreed Timeless was one of the best things we’d ever done. It put us on the map; even though Diane was already an established jazz singer and I was on the map with my graffiti.
“When we found out she was dying, she was a young 52 year old.
“I went to see her in the hospice while she was dying of cancer.
“I played her that version and she cried. It was such a beautiful moment.
“We kissed and hugged. Her speech had gone by then; she had to write on a board.
“I was then on my way to see her for a third time, when her daughter called to say it was too late.
“She’ll forever be in my heart.
“She showed me that jazz could be reinvented.”