FOLK band Ezio had mixed feelings when they were outed as one of Tony Blair’s favourite bands.
Ahead of a live-show in the borough this month, the Solihull News speaks to their frontman Ezio Lunedei.
We ask about the former Prime Minister name-dropping the band during an interview on Desert Island Discs.
“We were an underground band at the time and I think there was a sense he was trying to sound with-it,” the singer explains.
“The trouble was that it made us a news story and I don’t think many people listened to our music as a result.”
And has Ezio had the chance to meet his most famous fan?
“I haven’t cultivated a friendship with him,” he laughs, “But if he ever wants to come to a gig...
“Actually, we did have the old Defence Secretary, Geoff Hoon, he came to one of our shows.
“I don’t know why he was there, he just turned up at this village hall - it was bizarre.”
The band formed 21 years ago, when Ezio met Kenyan-born guitarist Booga - they’ve been gigging together ever since.
“Live shows are why I do the job, I suppose we make records as a by-product of that.
“The key is not to go in with a set-list of songs, you need to shake it up, make it different.”
Over the years, the band have gained a big following in countries such as Germany.
“What you’ve got to understand is that to them, we’re exotic - that gives us an advantage over their local groups.”
Since starting out in 1990, Ezio says he has seen the music industry change - not all for the better.
“It doesn’t bother me, it’s just the way it is. But I do think that music itself has been degraded,” he explains.
“People swap their entire collection on their iPods, record shops are closing and no-one’s interested in albums - it’s one song at a time.”
See them at Solihull Arts Complex on February 16. Tickets 0121 704 6962.