ED SHEERAN We caught his press conference

Ed Sheeran kicks off his Aus Tour in Perth at the brand new Optus Stadium

The biggest concert tour in Australian and New Zealand concert history has landed. Ed Sheeran, the beloved red-headed pop star the world is so obsessed with touched down ahead of his Australian tour on Thursday and held a press conference right here in Perth. With a string of 18 stadium shows down under to come, MIA CAMPBELL-FOULKES was there to welcome Ed Sheeran, who has sold one million tickets to this tour, eclipsing the Australian and New Zealand record previously held by Dire Straits (950,000) dating back 32 years all the way to 1986. The first ever artist to play the new Optus Stadium is projected to play to some 60,000 fans each night this Friday, March 2 and Saturday, March 3. Only limited tickets remain. 

Nobody has ever performed at the Perth Optus Stadium before, you’ll be the first person to play in our new Colosseum. How risky is this for you?

Uhhh, I mean it seems pretty stable? So yeah, I don’t think it’s that risky, I don’t think anything’s going to collapse. Hopefully. But yeah we’ve had a warm up – feel pretty prepared for the actual show. I’m not that nervous, we’re all gearing up to get back into it – I think I would be nervous if it was the last show of the tour.

You’ve already got a tattoo of a koala, what would we have to do for you to get a photo of a Quokka in recognition of this amazing tour?

Ahh I dunno, I got the koala in Perth – so I’ve already got my Perth Tattoo so if I was to get something I’d get (it in) Brisvegas or something.

How do you feel ahead of such a big tour?

It does feel weird to have 1 in 23 people coming to a show. That does feel a bit odd. But it’s best not to think about it, it’s best to take 1 show at a time.

We know you’re a big fan of Missy Higgins, are there any other local artists that you’re vibing on or that youre a big fan of?

Michael’s (Gudinski) played me Bliss N Eso, I like them – they’re pretty good.

You’ve mentioned how you feel about Missy Higgins and she’s excited she’s got a new album and she’s excited about these shows. Is that the new criteria for you, coming up with support acts that you have to have had a crush on?

I’ve had this crush 12-13 years ago… I’ve actually managed to tour with 2 people that I was influenced by as a kid and I’ve managed to go back and pay it forward. James Blunt was a big influence of my, Joshua Radin, a guy called Ben Kweller. I really, really like taking people on tour that have influenced me and I’m really happy they can do it. I got Missy when I was here in 2013 and I absolutely rinsed it – I still listen to it now. It’s a bit awkward that everyone keeps telling her that I had a crush on her. That was a long time ago.

With over 50,000 fans here (Friday) night how do you make it a personal experience for everyone on the night?

There was a musician that I toured with ages ago and I said I want to get a band and he was like you don’t need to get a band – all your fans want to do is sing along with you and that’s kind of always resonated with me. All people actually want is to be entertained, they don’t want to hear a song in the way you want to do it, they just want to be entertained with the songs that they know. It’s a very paint by numbers thing. The show differs every night but the songs that people want to hear they’ll hear, basically.

This probably isn’t your longest string of shows but is there anything you bring from home with you that reminds you of back there?

I’m quite a minimal person on tour – I tend to even buy clothes as I go along. I’ll get like a bunch a socks, bunch of T-shirts and then move along. I don’t know really – I have my iPad and I Facetime on that as a way to contact home. But I haven’t really brought anything from home.

There’s been some talk about retirement, you can’t be serious or do you want to go out on top?

Well I’ve never really said I’ll retire, I just said I’ll slow down. I said when I have kids I’ll slow down meaning I’m not going to spend 2 years at a time going on tour and maybe just go on tour for 3 months a year like normal people do. I don’t really want to be getting up at 6am in different countries every morning when I’ve got a kid at home to raise. I’ll still write music and tour, I just won’t be as tenacious.

What’s your next step musically? Is it to get a band or strip it down?

I wouldn’t mind getting a band, but I would only do it if the show would be better than the show I’ve got now. I wouldn’t get a band for the sake of it or for the sake of people telling me to do it if it doesn’t move it forward.

I know you have built a pub on your property and you’ve got a tunnel that goes underground. How many hours are you spending at that bar?

Well it’s not finished yet. It’s sort of just to have as a bit of separation from the main house because it would often turn into a party house.

You are a bit of a party boy aren’t you?

Well, I’m English? I feel like Australians are even worse.