HE is an award-winning songwriter but legendary singer Gilbert O’Sullivan is still drawing inspiration from his much younger contemporaries including Scotland’s very own Tom Walker.

The seventies icon rhymed off the Kilsyth-born singer’s name among his list of modern favourites as he spoke to The Evening Times ahead of his Glasgow Pavilion Theatre show next month.

“I like the business I like what’s going on. There is good stuff out there.

“Tom Walker, Vampire Weekend, Chainsmokers, George Ezra...I buy everything cause you have to.

“It is no good calling yourself a contemporary songwriter if you don’t like what is going on today,” beamed Gilbert in his smooth yet subtle Irish accent.

“I may not learn a lot from a rap recording of Jay-Z but I might get something out of the production, I may learn something there.

“Music is good for young people. If you write songs and play the guitar in your bedroom, you can have someone film it, put it online and it is seen by millions of people.

“That is something which is very different from how it was in the seventies. In the seventies, you needed a record company otherwise you had no chance whereas today you can have your own record company and you can put yourself online. People going online are always looking for people who are new.

“What’s available for young writers today is really good," he added.

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Glasgow Times:

Although he earned his credibility as a singer-songwriter decades before technology, the 72-year-old, who was born in Waterford, Ireland and later moved to Swindon, England, struck a chord with his audience from the get-go.

Regularly topping the charts in the 1970s in both the UK and the US, it was hit single Alone Again (Naturally) that first propelled the singer into the spotlight.

Chart-toppers Clair, Get Down and album Back to Front then followed making the seventies one of the singer’s most successful.

A real credit to his talent and artistry was, however, receiving the huge honour of being named Songwriter of the Year at the 18th Ivor Novello Awards, and it is that passion for lyrics which has kept his career going for more than five decades.

“Songwriting is the key to whatever success I could or have achieved.

“I knew if I was going to be successful it was always down to the songs so I work really hard to maintain a good standard of songwriting.

“It isn’t rock science. A good melody, work at it and then sit down with an empty notebook to come up with a good lyric.

“That is the thing I strive for and that is the enjoyment I get.

“That’s the reason why today I still have a lot of enthusiasm,” he said.

He, however, added: “I am very disciplined in terms of writing.

“I never write on on an aeroplane or a train.

“I read newspapers and a lot of my lyrics stem from reading them.

“I keep in touch with what is going today which allows me to write about mobile phones or terrorism in a subtle way.

“I pick up on things but the writing is something you do when nothing else is involved.

“When I am touring that is all I concentrate on and when touring is done I am concentrating on songs for a potential future album.”

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Glasgow Times:

His formula is one that works with the 2018 album Gilbert O’Sullivan reaching number 20 in the UK charts.

For now, however, the focus is on touring and it’s coming back to play in front of a Glasgow audience on November 1 that has got Gilbert really excited. He promises the fans a two-hour intimate show featuring just him and his guitarist.

He said: “Glasgow and Dublin were huge in terms of response.

“It will always have a special place so that is why it is really annoying when two years ago - when we were doing concerts for the last album - we weren’t able to have a Scottish date so we have put that right now.”

And with a positive frame of mind in check for his upcoming dates, Gilbert's fans will no doubt see one of his most memorable city shows to date.

He added: “I am really happy. I am in a good place. It’s been a good year, it is has been very well received. There are many positives to take from that.”

Catch Just Gilbert at Glasgow Pavilion Theatre on November 1.

Doors: 7:30pm Tickets: £25. Box Office: 0141 332 1846.