LADIES and gentlemen, the time has come. The magical, the mercurial, the mighty Pete Wylie is back.
It's been a while, but the man who brought us many incantations of Wah! is back playing live, starting with a gig at the Zanzibar on Friday (March 28).
"I'm happy, really happy," says Pete. "I feel better now than I have in 20 years. Better than since my accident, I suppose."
In 1991, Pete suffered a near fatal fall, fracturing his spine when a railing gave way in Upper Parliament Street.
"I feel like me again."
Since 2008, Pete has scaled back his live gigs and spent more time at his south Liverpool home, affectionately known as Disgracelands.
"I've had my time at home, I shut myself off and that didn't do me any good," he admits. "It's hard to come back from that. But now I'm back and I'm feeling good.
"I decided I wanted to do something again. I announced this gig and I really wasn't sure how people would take it.
"I can't thank people enough for their response. I thought that I might say 'I'm back, I'm doing this gig' and no-one would be bothered. But the way people have responded has been really heartwarming."
Pete will be performing at the Zanzibar on Friday night with his daughter Mersey.
"Mersey is just fantastic," he says. "I'm the proudest dad there is. She's so busy nowadays though, with Sense of Sound and her music teaching and Threshold Festival that I'm lucky to get her.
"I think I saw more of her when she lived in Australia," he laughs. "It's great to be singing with her. We've been rehearsing in Disgracelands and it is sounding good."
They will be joined by up and coming Liverpool musician Tom Carroll.
"I saw Tom at Prowsie's (singer Ian Prowse) birthday and we got talking about music," explains Pete.
"We were doing our top five songs from various bands and I realised he's as mad about music as I am. We were doing this all night and I thought 'let's start playing a few songs'. So we started rehearsing and to be honest I've never met anyone I wanted to be in a band with that much.
"It's working really well."
At Friday's gig, Pete says he'll be playing the best of the old and the new.
"There will be no jazz reinterpretations," he laughs. "I feel like there's a lot of life in the songs so I don't need to mess about with them. There are some new ones too. I'm feeling inspired to write again, which I haven't for a long time. I don't know if it's the political climate or my state of mind but I've got things I want to say.
"I've got this one song called We're All In It Together. I can't believe George Osbourne and his cronies are still using that phrase. You look at what they are doing to ordinary people and they think they are getting away with it. After I heard the budget last week I woke up in the night and I was scriblling down another verse.
"Times like these make songwriters want to write."
Pete also credits his happiness to a new love in his life, entertainment agent Kate Haldane.
"I suppose it happens when you least expect it," he says. "We met through friends and we were just mates for a while." He pauses. "It's good, really good. I feel very lucky. These last few years have been hard, but now I'm out of the other side I realise how lucky I am to have the people in my life that I love."
Pete celebrated his birthday over the weekend.
"A nice normal birthday," he smiles. "Seeing Mersey and Kate and a bit of rehearsing. I don't like birthday parties as such. I gave up on them years ago. But this is just perfect."
Pete Wylie plays at the Zanzibar alongside Mersey Wylie and Tom Carroll on Friday March 28