"I pace and pull weird faces and make weird noises. Some people say they warm up, but I just make noises like animals," says Aiden Grimshaw, ahead of his headline London gig at The Scala, on the final night of his UK tour.
"There was a woman in Manchester whose job was to take pictures of me before I went on stage and she looked really freaked out," recalls the singer who shot to fame on X Factor with his peculiar facial expressions, as we discuss how he prepares to perform.
Grimshaw, who admits "it's been nice to get out and play music to people", after two years out of the spotlight writing his largely praised debut album Misty Eye, seems to have been on somewhat of a 'lads on tour' trip across the UK over the past few months...
"I think we've been really lucky because the crew have been really cool guys, it's like three of my mates and a really cool bus and we've been watching classics like Man On Fire with Denzel Washington and Rocky 4. It's been an emotional journey of action."
Grimshaw, who came ninth in the X Factor 2010 but has now shaken off the reality TV curse and done something credible, often comes across as intense in his performances, but in person he's not one to take himself too seriously.
Now that the tour is coming to an end, he's looking forwards to a break: "I'm going to take a couple of days off, drink lots of Lemsip, maybe have a massage.
"Hopefully a few more people will want to hear the tour, as this tour has only been small. And then it's Christmas, so I'll be putting Christmas trees up."
The singer from Blackpool, is also hoping Misty Eye - a collection of interesting down tempo electro songs he penned himself - will be heard by a wider audience...
"It's been good, all the reviews and stuff and people have said they really like it. I think it's out there now and people have just got to make that choice to listen to it.
"I don't think it was ever going to be something that happened straight away. It feels organic and it feels like it's getting there."
That show that spring-boarded Grimshaw and his now relaxed quiff to fame is on TV again, but he's not desperate to watch it: "Sometimes I try and catch it on repeat on Sunday, but I've not seen any of these ones"
"It's Judges Houses' now isn't it?" he asks, surprised when I tell him they are on to the live shows already and asks if there's any "good'uns", but really, I think Grimshaw's outgrown the show - and rightly so.
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