Evie Kissack chats to Antony Costa, member of legendary boy band Blue ahead of this year's Solihull Summer Fest.

So Blue will be headlining Solihull Summer Festival next month, are you looking forward to the event?

Yeah, very much so. Obviously the boys and me always love performing if and when we can, so we are looking forward to the festival on the 25th of August. 

 

You’ll be performing alongside other amazing acts such as Sister Sledge, Busted, Rak-Su and 10cc – have you performed with any of these artists before? 

I think we might have done a few gigs with Busted back in the day…it should be a good laugh though. The music is good so that’s all that matters! That’s what it’s all about.

 

Exactly. What can fans expect from the set list – can we look forward to the favourites?

Just all the old songs…that’s all we can say at the moment really. I don’t want to dwindle too much on new stuff…because we haven’t got any! 

 

[Laughter]

It’s all about the classics, all about the old tunes that hopefully people know and love.

 

What’s your personal favourite song to perform live? 

I do like a bit of ‘One Love’, just because it’s just one of them songs…I think it was the first song from our second album and it always brings a bit of a nostalgic feel to it. It was the start of Blue being taken seriously. We weren’t just a ‘one album wonder’, you know. I think ‘One Love’ definitely holds a special place in my heart. 

 

Yeah I’m looking forward to seeing that one performed live too…

It should be wicked.

 

You have such a loyal fan base – did you ever expect to have the following you now have when Blue first started? 

Not at all…not at all. I think for us it was just four lads living the dream. When we first started we were just trying to make it in the business and had no idea how big or how small we were going to be. We just did our music and let the songs speak for themselves. From that it just grew and grew and grew – and that’s it. We have a great history of different songs and albums, and we really appreciate that we can get a second bite of the cherry now. We can still get out there and perform, so it’s just a great feeling. It really is. 

 

You also released the memoir ‘Blue: All Rise, Our Story’ back last year – how did you find working on the book? 

Yes, last October. It was a good therapy session because you relive your whole life - I think for us it’s about the memories that we have and how we’ve kept going. We’ve now created a book that we can keep on our bookshelves for the rest of our lives and look back on. It was a nice feeling to be able to relive those stories again, for sure. 

 

You’ve written quite openly about fatherhood and family life. Did you ever find it hard to be honest and open about your personal life? 

I think you’ve just got to be. You’ve got to be as open and honest as you can be without giving too much of your life away. We had a great level of control about what was out there and what wasn’t; do you know what I mean? So, it was nice to be able to sit down with our ghostwriter, Caroline, and emphasise what Blue is all about. It’s the hard work that went into the band at the start – the times when we used to gig every day and build a fan base. That’s what it’s about really. 

 

The book is written in an interesting way, in that all four members give personal accounts of particular events. Did you discover things about the other boys you didn’t know prior to writing the book?

Definitely, of course. The good thing about Blue is that we – if you excuse the pun – we’re an open book. That’s why the band has lasted so long on and off for 18 years. The best thing about being in Blue is that we’re the best of friends and we always will be. We are a tight knit group, and nobody can come into our little inner circle and spoil that because we know each other better than anyone else. It’s just one of them things - a lot of people have tried to break us, but they can’t. 

 

You can definitely tell you support each other – the chemistry is there on stage to show you’re true mates. It’s obvious you love performing together. 

Yes, absolutely. 

 

You’ve also done a bit of acting throughout your career – do you think being a member of Blue helped you to meet the demands of acting?

Definitely. Being in Blue is the foundation for us all, it allows us to go off and do other things. For us, it’s literally about living your dreams and having the opportunity to go out there and act, or be involved with different music. My first passion was acting, and always will be. Due to Blue I am able to get opportunities on various shows and take acting jobs…I still have to go to auditions though, I don’t get the part because I’m part of a band, I have to go through the process and work hard. I don’t mind that because that’s what it’s all about. It’s all about working hard and learning your craft. 

 

You’ve enjoyed such an amazing career in the arts and have taken part in TV shows, plays, music videos, not to mention the Eurovision Song Contest; if you had to, could you pick a career highlight? 

I think, personally, it would be me and the boys winning our first BRIT back in 2002 for Best Newcomer. As I said, nobody gave us a cat in hell’s chance to win that. We were part of the category and we were just so grateful to be part of it. When Trevor Nelson announced that Blue had won the category we just went absolutely mental! 

 

You’ve travelled with the band to some incredible places all over the world – where would you say is your favourite place to travel to?

Do you know what mate - every place is different. Germany, at one time, became our second home because we were out there so much. You don’t end up looking at is as another country, if that makes sense. But when you travel to places like Southeast Asia – the Philippians, Singapore, Malaysia – it’s amazing because if you had asked me 20 years ago, “Would you like to travel the world?” I would have said, “Yes absolutely!” Now I have done it and I’m still travelling, and I’m just so, so grateful – we are all just so happy to be doing what we’re doing, I can’t emphasise that enough. We are so honoured and privileged to still be making music and performing to our fans. 

 

For more information, visit solihullsummerfest.co.uk.

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