Jan 11 2012 by Michael Pringle, Airdrie & Coatbridge
FORMER trade union education officer Jim Millar has lived a double life for longer than he cares to remember.
Jim is the alter ego of Paul French who has thrilled audiences up and down the country for years ... and has recently released his second album, “Portrait of my Love”.
The new release is a collection of cover-songs by artists such as Frank Sinatra, Matt Monro and Michael Bublé.
The singer, who now lives in Motherwell, admits that Canadian Bublé has brought the spotlight back onto this style of music. He said: “There is a big audience for this type of music but it’s not really catered for.”
Jim, who was brought up in the Townhead area of Coatbridge and attended St Patrick’s High School, was a member of a number of bands before going solo.
They included Coatbridge group, The Interest and well-known Airdrie band, The Concordes.
Jim revealed: “I was lucky enough to support some well- known acts. We supported the Bee Gees at Coatbridge Town Hall in the 60s, and Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders, The Merseybeats and Slade. In total we supported 11 different number one bands.”
Jim is the oldest of his siblings with a sister and four younger brothers. Despite his popularity Jim isn’t the best known member of his family, his youngest brother is comic writer Mark Millar.
Jim decided on the name Paul French when he secured a spot on television. He explained: “When I was offered a Thames TV spot I joined the performers union, Equity. There was already someone with the name Jim Millar so I chose Paul French.”
As a solo artist in recent years Paul has witnessed a decline in the number of theatres employing cabaret acts and most of his work comes in the form of clubs and corporate events. Recent and forthcoming venues he has graced include One Devonshire Gardens in Glasgow and Dunblane Hydro.
Paul was also on the road with a legendary Scottish comedian for a number of years, he added: “I travelled all over the place with Hector Nicol for around three years. Everywhere was sold out and he did the Pavilion for a week at a time and every night was sold out.”
The new album recorded at Davy Jones Locker Studios in East Kilbride, is Paul’s second release following on from the debut, “All By Myself”, released around five years ago.
More information on Jim’s alter-ego and the album is available at www.paulfrenchvocalist.co.uk.