Sam Fender was “sceptical” about performing at the UK’s first socially-distanced gig venue, but admitted it was a “fantastic” experience.
The 26-year-old singer/songwriter played two homecoming shows last week at the Virgin Money Unity Arena in Newcastle, north east England, where audiences had their own viewing platforms which held five people and were spaced two metres apart, and he was pleased to “have [his] job back”.
He said: “I was like, ‘Of course I’ll do it. I don’t care what capacity we will do this in, in what format. I want to be on a stage with my band playing to some people.’
“Because I want my job back! I think everyone wants their job back.
“But obviously I was sceptical. It was like playing in front of the biggest human cattle market. But it was fantastic. Of course it’s not going to have the same vibe as a gig where there’s a mosh pit and then people having to go to the emergency room.”
The ‘Dead Boys’ hitmaker – who had to cancel shows at the end of 2019 because his immune system was “s***” – is now in a “good place”, and he found it “really cathartic” being back on stage.
He added to Variety: “It wasn’t a good year for somebody with a compromised immune system. But I’m good now.
“To be able to play the last two shows was such a f****** honour, and the fact that Newcastle and the north east region were the trailblazers on this one, and hopefully this model can go all over the world, I’m really proud of that.
“Just to be back with the crew and back with my band was really cathartic, and really good for the head. Because I think a lot of people have suffered during this lockdown mentally as well as financially.
“It was almost like a break from reality, which was fantastic. So, yeah, I’m in a good place today.”