A VETERAN rocker who shot to fame after leaving Flintshire for New Zealand is heading back to his home county for a one-off gig.
Paul Lightfoot from Deeside emigrated with parents Jock and Beryl to Auckland in 1974 when he was just 15 years old and after joining several bands, found fame with New Zealand chart toppers The Mockers.
The father-of-one is now returning to his home town of Hawarden and has been lined up to perform his solo act Paul Lightfoot is Not The Church But Damn Close at the Tivoli nightclub in Buckley.
He told the Leader: “It will be really interesting to see what the place is like when I come back, I bet things have changed quite a lot.
“It will be a real privilege to perform at the Tivoli, but it’s pretty scary because some famous people have done that stage, including the likes of Oasis and Led Zeppelin.”
Paul, now 51, was born in St Asaph and grew up in Hawarden where he attended Hawarden Infants and the former Deeside Senior High School in Queensferry.
The family emigrated after Jock, who worked at Shotton Steelworks, was head-hunted to work at New Zealand Steel.
Paul, who was known as Lighty when he lived in Wales, added: “It took me a while to get used to living there. It was like going back in time almost 15 years.
“They hadn’t long got colour TV and there was only one channel.”
The talented musician eventually found his calling in the music scene and after teaching himself to play the guitar he joined several bands before securing a number one hit, Forever Tuesday Morning, with The Mockers in 1984.
He said: “It was just crazy.
“We had security guards and girls chasing us down the street.
“I have always loved music, but it was when I moved to New Zealand and I was getting up close to the bands at different gigs every night that it just blew me away and I thought ‘I can do this’.”
Paul, who now works in advertising, returned home to Hawarden twice during the 1980s, but during his visit in September, he will be spreading his late parents’ ashes at their memorial at Hawarden Church.
He will be performing at the Tivoli Nightclub on Saturday, September 25.
For further information go to www.myspace.com/notthechurchbutdamnclose.