Modern prog rock musician Steven Wilson, whose latest album To The Bone was only kept off the Number 1 spot in the album charts by Ed Sheeran, performs on Tyneside this weekend. Ahead of the show at Gateshead Sage, which incidentally sees former Kajagoogoo member Nick Beggs on bass, Wilson chats to Mick Burgess

You have a run of 12 dates in the UK and Ireland coming up very soon. Are you looking forward to your tour?

There's always something special playing in your home country in front of your home audience. A lot of my family and friends will come to the London shows which is great but puts a little bit of pressure on as you don't want to mess it up in front of them. I'm looking forward to playing at all of the venues across the country, there's some great places to play.

You have a lot of material to draw from, not just from your solo work but from Porcupine Tree and your other projects too. What sort of setlist will you be putting together for the tour?

I have a new record out, To The Bone, so I`ll be trying to play as much of that as I can and then I have to decide what from the back catalogue will fit in with the new songs. I'll also look at the material I haven't done in a very long time so I'll be playing some songs that I haven't played since the days of Porcupine Tree. It's quite a surprising set as about 75% of the material I`m playing on this tour, I've never played live before.

Who do you have in your band for this tour?

I have the same band I had on the last tour except my guitarist, Dave Kilmister. He's Roger Waters' long-term guitarist and unfortunately for me, Roger decided to go back out on tour when I did so I lost out. I've got Alex Hutchings on guitar now who's been blowing people away. I've been very fortunate to have had the opportunity to hire extraordinary musicians in my band. I'm also joined by Nick Beggs on bass, Craig Blundell on drums and Adam Hozlman on keyboards. It`s a great band and I love working with them.

A lot of people will know Nick Beggs from his days in Kajagoogoo and may not realise what an accomplished bass player he is. What do you feel that he brings to your music?

Nick's CV is extraordinary. He's played with everyone from Cliff Richard to Steve Hackett from Genesis and Rick Wakeman to Englebert Humperdinck and Seal. He's a very much in demand player. He has some serious chops. He's a musician’s musician who just happens to have had some success at the very start of his career as a Pop artist.

The tour is in support of your latest album To The Bone. It's been your most successful album to date hitting the UK album charts at Number 3. How does that make you feel?

It's not so much for me but the rest of the industry. Funnily enough, I was Number 1 for the whole week and was only over taken by Ed Sheeran and Elvis on the last day. When the mid-week chart was published and I was at Number 1, I suddenly got invitations from BBC Breakfast Show, I got invitations for interviews in the national press and all of this main stream exposure came because people notice things like chart positions. Of course, it's nice to say that I've had a Number 3 record but the biggest benefit for me was the knock-on effect it had on the rest of the media. They started to notice me in a way they never had before so it was essential to get a high chart position just to get noticed.

Ninet Tayeb adds her gorgeous vocals to Pariah. Did you have her in mind when you were first writing those songs?

I did have her in mind for those songs when I was writing them. When I did Hand Cannot Erase I didn't have a specific singer in mind. I wrote Routine and I knew I wanted a female singer so I went out and looked for the right singer and Ninet was the one that I ended up asking to do it. This time around I wanted to write specifically with the aim of doing a duet between us so wrote Blank Tapes and Pariah with that in mind. She has an amazing voice.

As always you have released a Deluxe edition. Is it important to you to create a piece of art that's tangible rather than just something that`s a file on a computer?

I think the Rock audience still likes to have a physical product. The demand for owning a physical copy is still there. Maybe that's why my chart position was so good. I think one reason this did so well was that my fans were going out and buying my record rather than downloading or streaming it like they seem to do for Pop artists. I think having artwork, lyrics, credits and such like are things that people really value. It's hard work to come up with something like that but I think it's worth it.

Steven Wilson, The Sage, Gateshead, Sunday, March 25. Tickets at