Thousands of Sir Cliff Richard’s devoted fans are expected to travel to the Fisherman’s Beach in Albufeira next Saturday (August 20) for a free concert to celebrate the city’s 500th anniversary. In the first of a two part interview, Resident reporter, Nikki Hall, caught up with the bachelor boy, as he relaxed before the big event, and found there’s even more to Cliff than singing and wine…
Resident: You have been in the music business for more than four decades and sold millions of records. The dreaded question on everyone’s lips is – are you thinking about retiring?
Sir Cliff: No, not really. I always feel that while I can still do it, I might as well. When I first started, for instance, the people before me, the Sinatras and Crosbies, they didn’t retire to make way. You had to just compete with them. So I always think that that’s just the way it should be, really. The new guy should be competing with the older guy. And I still have a following. For instance, I just did a sell out tour in Britain and I sold out in the Albert Hall. And I still hold the record at Albert Hall – 32 sell out nights. So while people still want to see me, I’m still happy to perform. What I would like to do is slow down a little, not retire, but that’s difficult.
Resident: As you say, you regularly sell out the Albert Hall in London. What persuaded you to perform for free in Albufeira next week (August 20)?
Sir Cliff: It’s just a thing that the Câmara asked me to do. They said it’s Albufeira’s 500th birthday and, since I’ve been coming here for about 40 years, it just seemed right. I’ve always enjoyed the Algarve. I promote it as often as I can and try to get the Brits to come, so it appealed to me to actually be part of the 500th birthday. It’s quite an interesting place to perform. I’ve not seen a concert down there, but I’ve heard one from up above. There will be a stage facing the beach and everyone will be on the sand. It will be a great night! They’ve got all of the 500th anniversary lighting on one side, with white lights saying ‘Happy Birthday Albufeira’, that sort of thing. It should be really nice.
Resident: Have you ever done anything like this before?
Sir Cliff: No, I don’t think I have. I haven’t done anything like it for a town or a city. I did something in Birmingham when we were celebrating the millennium. I did a little concert in the freezing cold of course, not like Albufeira – well, it was December 31!
Resident: On your website, there were several fans in discussion in the forum, who were planning to fly over for one day to come and see you perform – how does that make you feel?
Sir Cliff: Some of them do. I mean, all of us have a hardcore of fans who support us in everything we do. It is not unique to me. But it always remains special that there are a number of fans who are prepared to save their money up and spend it flying here to see a concert. I’m glad they are going to come.
Resident: Are you looking forward to the event?
Sir Cliff: Very much, I can’t wait. I’ve got my band coming over, so I won’t be on my own. They’re coming over a couple of days before the show, because I’ve made a couple of changes to it.
Resident: It’s rumoured that the Fisherman’s beach is going to be closed all day on the day of the show –can you confirm this?
Sir Cliff: I don’t know about that, but that would be a real shame if they do, because people love going on that beach. But I guess they’re trying to make it fair for everybody, because somebody could be on that beach all day and grab all the best places for the concert. So, I don’t know, I don’t get involved with things like that. It’s too complicated for me. I just turn up and do my show and hope people are there!
• Next week, Sir Cliff talks about his wine, women’s perfume and hotel investment.