You’re just about to appear live on This Morning – are you nervous?
Not about the fact I’m going to perform. I’m okay with that and with being behind the piano, but I find the part where you have to talk harder. So I guess I’m just hoping to keep the interview as short as I can and get to the playing part. Your wife Sophie Dahl is also in the public eye. Are the two of you ever bothered by paparazzi?
‘I LIKE TO FRIGHTEN MYSELF’ Sophy Grimshaw speaks to Jamie Cullum about the pressures of being the UK’s best-selling jazz artist
It’s not too bad, to be honest. We’ve found that you actually have a degree of choice when it comes to that kind of thing. If you choose to go to certain restaurants and certain bars, those are the places that people go to be seen and where you’ll be photographed going in and coming out. We don’t tend to go to those places, so we can sit down and enjoy dinner somewhere. We’re usually left alone, unnoticed, but of course at times you do have someone in your face taking a picture. What were your goals for your new album The Pursuit?
I like to push myself and I like to frighten myself. I wanted to step outside my comfort zone. The album spans big band sounds and Cole Porter songs to influences from dance and house. It even goes a bit proggy. But one of the most important things was that I knew it had to be a record that could hang together as one piece. It had to be cohesive somehow. To fail to do that would be to create a record that’s just an eclectic mess, and it would look like showing off and doing different things for the sake of it. How has your live performance style evolved over time?
Well, I’m still every bit as excited to play now as I was for my first gigs, so I’m not sure actually, although maybe I’ve calmed down a tiny bit and learned not to totally lose it. But when I play I do still tend to go a bit mad, like a little boy with a new toy. Jamie Cullum 7 May Glasgow Royal Concert Hall 8 May Edinburgh Usher Hall 13 May Birmingham Symphony Hall 14 May Liverpool Philharmonic 16 May London Palladium 17 May Manchester Bridgewater Hall