The Faces have announced that croony figure of fun Mick Hucknall will replace Rod Stewart for a summer festival slot. Here, Ronnie Wood defends his decision
OK, firstly, we haven’t ruled Rod out! It’s just that his schedule is totally crossing over exactly when we wanted him – he’s not available. So, we’ve got Mick Hucknall because his voice is just like Rod’s was in the ’70s. Rod’s so busy – his management are so here, there and everywhere.
Hucknall is the best cross-section of quality. We thought, “Sod this, we’re not getting any younger, let’s go out and do it – the band is sounding so good.”
I think there’s a mutual respect between Rod and Mick – he respects Hucknall and Hucknall really likes him. So we thought we’d just cut it simple and had some rehearsals with Mick and Glen Matlock on the bass and it sounded great.
Hucknall’s such a big fan of the band – at the PRS Awards [where the Faces played last October] he was brilliant. When Mick Hucknall sang ‘Stay With Me’ everyone was like, “Wow!” It sounds just as electric as it used to. There’s great authenticity. He couldn’t believe his luck! It’s surprised us.
Simply Red, [him] being a bit of a romantic, not quite rock’n’roll – it goes against the grain a bit, you would think. But when Mick sings with us we set him on fire and there’s a completely different side to him. You close your eyes and you think you’re listening to the original Faces, it’s great. He sings the shit out of ‘I’d Rather Go Blind’.
Other people were in the running; there was Kelly Jones out of the Stereos [Stereophonics], but they’re busy at the moment. If it all goes down well we’ll tour next January, and do Glastonbury next year. We’ve got Harvey Goldsmith all ready with loads of offers, it’s just a matter of us sifting through them. We also have Chris Robinson from the Black Crowes, and Noel Gallagher has always been interested. It’s going to be fun.
The door’s not closed to Rod, but we’re just carrying on because it’s worth it. I went round Rod’s house the last time I was in LA, not so long ago. It was really nice, we watched a film together, had dinner, had a laugh – it was like no time had gone by.