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Keith Urban interview: Covering for Adele, loving UK fans and still feeling pressure: "I have a fighting spirit"

6 May 2022, 09:18

By Tom Eames

Keith Urban is finally back in the UK for his Speed of Now World Tour, and we're glad to welcome him back!

The New Zealand-born Australian country star has spoiled us of late with fantastic new songs including 'Wild Hearts' and 'Nightfalls', and he caught up with Smooth Country's Eamonn Kelly about how much he loves coming to the UK.

Having already performed in Manchester, Birmingham and Newcastle, Keith is heading to London's Eventim Apollo tonight (May 6) and tomorrow, and a final show in Edinburgh on Monday.

Watch the full interview above

Speaking to Eamonn about returning to the UK, Keith said: "The crowds here – God. I was hoping for a particular kind of energetic crowd, but it is way beyond that. It’s like some soccer grand final. It’s insane. It’s just great. We’re barely halfway through this tour, and I’m already ready to come back as soon as possible."

Keith Urban is back in the UK
Keith Urban is back in the UK. Picture: Alamy/Smooth/Global

Keith opened up about his new music, and when fans might be able to expect a new album. He said: "I have most of a whole new album ready to go. That won’t come for a while.

"But I think we’ll have new songs coming off of this new project across the rest of this year. So I’m looking forward to getting some more new music out.

"I wrote 'Nightfalls' about wanting to play concerts again. The song is really about going… It doesn’t say it, but it kind of is about going to a concert. It’s about going to a summer outdoor concert or a festival. That was what I was missing.

"More than anything, you know, I was really missing that outdoor summer music vibe chill – everybody’s in great spirits; the sun’s going down; and this whole song was all about that.

"It’s why it opens with the line 'we’ve been through some hard times, but I ain’t going to lie, I don’t want to think about it, not with you right here tonight'. It was all about just getting back into life again."

Keith spoke about stepping in for Adele at the last minute after she had to cancel her planned shows in Las Vegas.

"We’d signed on to do a bunch of shows at Caesar’s Palace at the end of 2019, and we did a few. And then we did a few at the beginning of 2020. We were supposed to do 24 shows all through 2020. We got about three done, and then it all got shut down.

"And so we waited around to get back into that room, and resume our residency. And that didn’t happen until September of ’21. September ’21, we went back in and did five shows. That was the first time back since the beginning of the pandemic, and it was an amazing feeling to be back in a room with people packed in. It was incredible.

"And then in January, they called us to ask if we could fill in some days for Adele. So we were supposed to come back into that room in May of this year. We’re going back there in a few weeks. But the Adele dates were amazing timing because we already had our show ready to go, and we could just bump it up sooner.

"And, you know, I’ll do anything for Adele. I love Adele."

And does Keith still feel pressure after all these years of touring the world? "Of course! Oh, yeah. It’s the craziest thing, because I grew up playing in all the pubs and the clubs in Australia.

"Rough, rough places, where you walk on stage, and you’re greeted by this: 'Alright? What do you do? You bloody w**ker. What do you do, mate?' That’s what I’m used to. That’s what I grew up with. I can’t shake it.

"No matter how long I’ve been doing this, I still come out on stage, and that’s what I picture in my head – it’s a bunch of people doing this, going, 'Alright. Show us what you do. Impress us.' It’s never changed. I sort of come out with that fighter spirit of doing whatever it takes to get this crowd going. It’s never changed."