SHAKIN’ Stevens is clearly not a man to rest on his laurels. The singer, who will be 71 next month, is coming to the end of a European tour and will then go straight into 18 live dates in the UK, including a show in Manchester.

Given his remarkably successful career - he had a staggering run of 22 consecutive top 20 singles in the UK between 1980 and 1987 including four number ones - it would be all too easy to assume that Shaky (as he is known to everyone, even his partner) could just go through the motions and keep the fans happy.

But that’s just not his style. He stunned critics and fans alike with his 2016 album Echoes of Our Times which was a bluesy, southern gothic masterpiece inspired by his own research into his family history. The album gave him his highest chart position for 33 years and brought him to the attention of a whole new generation of fans.

Now with the Greatest Hits and More tour he’s promising once again to do something different.

“We did a one-off gig in Sri Lanka last year and for that we looked at the hits and also delved into ones from way back which I haven’t performed for years,” he said. “We tried a few new arrangements and they went down so well that we’ve developed that idea for this tour.

“To be honest, I couldn’t go out there and just do the hits like I used to. No disrespect to people that do that, that clearly works for them, but it’s not something that’s for me.”

So for the new tour fans can expect to hear some Shaky classics such as Green Door and You Drive Me Crazy but they will have been brought up to date to match Shaky’s more rootsy sound.

“I don’t think it’s healthy to stand still,” he said. “If you have more to give which I have, it’s nice to open up different avenues and pull in a good mix of an audience.”

He admits he was surprised at just how positive the reaction was to Echoes of Our Times.

“People must have been able to relate to the stories and enjoyed the different style on the album,” he said. “It also let me explore more musically and lyrically which I enjoyed.

"I certainly got a new audience through that album and I don’t want to lose them," he said. "But I have also got fans who have been with me from the early days.

“It’s really good that they’re still coming and even better that as my music moves on they move on with me.

"So for the tour I’ll be doing some songs I haven’t done for years but perhaps rearranged and ‘spiced up’, some ballads and also songs from other artists that I’ve always enjoyed plus a few songs from Echoes of Our Times.

“Everyone from the promoters to the fans say that you need the hits and I will be doing them as I want to do them today. Otherwise it would be a millstone around my neck.”

Shaky - real name Michael Barratt - has had a remarkable career. Before his pop career took off in 1980 he had already experienced success playing the king of rock and roll in the West End musical Elvis!

He started off with a rock and roll band The Sunsets in his native Cardiff and even supported the Rolling Stones in 1969

“I’m a great believer that you only get what you put in – and I put it in everything I could,” he said. “It’s all about perseverance – I was determined to get there in the end. It took me a long time to get there, but here I am.”

He revealed that he is also working on a follow-up album to Echoes of Our Times.

“Oh, there will definitely be a new album,” he said. “There are a couple of songs we recorded during the Echoes sessions which are still on the shelf and I’m looking at new material.

“I’m not sure whether I will continue the family theme but the album will definitely have that bluesy theme that Echoes has.”

After so many years making music, it’s clear that Shaky is as driven as ever and enjoying the experience as much as ever.

Even the seemingly endless round of promotional appearances and interviews, plus the touring don’t get him down.

“The whole thing about marketing is reminding people that you are out there,” he said. “You have to do everything you can and after that you can’t do any more.

“I’m pretty confident that this are going to go well but you can’t take anything for granted. It’s not something that I’ve ever done.”

Shakin’ Stevens, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, Tuesday, March 19. Details from 0161 907 9000 or www.