T’Pau were a huge deal in the world of 80s pop, with frontwoman Carol Decker and her spectacular vocals always standing out. The distinctive Decker worked with her then partner Ron Rogers, and produced massive singles like ‘China In Your Hand’, and ‘Heart and Soul’.

Still going strong today, Decker is on something of a nostalgia tour, but still writes music, too, despite the focus on live settings. She’s charismatic and easy-going, clearly at ease with her role in music today. In fact, when it comes to the process, she’s nothing short of joyous about it all.

“Maybe I might have been headlining back in the day, being frank,” Decker tells us, laughing about her appearance at Forever Young Festival this weekend. “But overall things are kind of similar, we’re all a little older and wiser. All my peers are still there with me, or most of them, but the chess pieces have moved on the board a little.”

“Some people get hits and some people get a longer career. Maybe it’s about having a faithful following instead of momentary adulation, I don’t know. Creative arts is a crapshoot,” she continues. “If you could make a formula for always having a top five hit, I’m sure we’d all do it, but it’s not possible. It’s a little bit of fairy dust, a little bit of timing, and a little bit of charisma, and it falls into place. You just have to enjoy it when it does.”

Today’s songs, naturally, are not achieving the level of fame of the likes of ‘China In Your Hand’, but they’re no less important to Decker.

“Writing songs is part of how I express myself. I still write with my ex, Ron Rogers, who formed the band with me. It’s a smaller operation now, as I’ve got my own little label, so we just pop things out, download singles and let the fanbase know. We haven’t done an album and a tour for probably seven years.” 

“I sort of can’t be bothered with the album. It might happen again, but we’ve been doing a lot of semi-acoustic and orchestral shows. Ron wants to do a high-end semi-acoustic rework of the classic tracks, so we’ve talked about that. The live work took over, because the streaming thing decimated the income of middle sized artists.”

“People love the live show, though, as it’s a soundtrack to people’s lives. I pick and choose what I do. I don’t take money for granted, as when I was little my family was evicted onto the streets, when Landlords could do that. I’ve been there. My dad worked really hard to get us out of that, to a semi-detached in Shropshire. I respect money.” 

In the past, Decker has recalled the ‘seven figures’ that suddenly came to the group, poor at the time, over the course of a single huge year in the late 80s.

Decker is also a social media fiend, Twitter in particular. “I was a bit of an early adopter,” she says. “It was like propping up a virtual bar. After Brexit, though, everything got really toxic. Then came the pandemic, and Me Too, and so on. All these massive topics got plopped in the middle of social media, and people were foul. It wasn’t jokes anymore, it was all weaponised. I do it less now because my kids asked me to!”

All in, Decker is refreshingly old school, though: open, unfiltered, and rightly, proud of what she’s achieved.


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