‘Performing is in our DNA’ says Jermaine Jackson as The Jacksons bring the hits to Haydock Park

THE first family of pop are this year celebrating 50 years together with a series of major summer dates across the UK.

And on Friday fresh from their successful show at Glastonbury, The Jacksons will be at Haydock Park bringing all their hits to life once the race meeting has finished for the day.

For Jermaine Jackson, every live show remains special even after all these years.

“We started when we were very young and it has been a long stretch, but we still have that zest and desire to be on stage,” said Jermaine, who will be at Haydock Park alongside brothers Tito, Jackie and Marlon. “The music, a new song or a melody is still what gets us excited.”

From their early days as the Jackson Five, including younger brother Michael, The Jacksons have sold a staggering 200 million records around the world with hits including I Want You Back, I’ll Be There and ABC.

“For us now, the hardest part is what to play and what not to play,” said Jermaine, “There are so many songs, so putting a set together is very difficult but we are just going to perform and do what we know how to do.”

Even with so many shows behind them, a racecourse date ranks as one of the more unusual venues The Jacksons have played.

“I think we have played a racecourse before, it would probably have been in Kentucky if we have,” said Jermaine, “but we really thrilled to come over.

“Our whole thing has been about being on stage. We were kind of born on stage, It is home for us no matter where that stage is.

“Our greatest moment is before we hit the stage. We are like racehorses before the gates open.

“When we are in the dressing room I look around at my brothers and I say to myself ‘we have been doing this since we were kids’ but there is a feeling that you can’t wait to get out there and do what you do

“Marlon will be making jokes, Jackie is a little quiet as he’s got the butterflies. My thing is just watching them and knowing that we all have a part to play. It’s like a puzzle, everyone has a part or a piece to inject into the show to make it one complete entertainment moment.”

Jermaine believes that the brothers’ close ties are one of the reasons behind their long career.

“It has certainly worked for us,” he said. “We know each other’s personalities; we know what we like and don’t like. When you have lived together all your lives, we know when to stay away from Jackie when he gets cranky and they know what’s off limits for me.

“But when we hit the stage, none of that stuff matters. We are a team and we do it.

“Anyway, I know I can’t divorce them and they can’t divorce me – we are the same blood.”

One key member of that team is sadly missing. It is eight years since Michael Jackson died but, Jermaine insists, his presence remains.

“He is with us every show we do,” he said. “There are certain songs when it would have been Michael’s part and he’d jump up to the microphone and even now we instinctively move to one side to let him through, it’s programmed into our bodies.

“But it’s important that we do remember him.”

Now 62, Jermaine has also had a successful solo career including the top 10 hit Let’s Get Serious and more recently he’s appeared on Celebrity Big Brother where his calm demeanour was a stark contrast to some of the more highly-strung individuals in the show.

“My personality is just being who I am and just staying one way. My strength is my kindness. Some people take kindness for a weakness but I wouldn’t change anything.

“If you are kind, you get the chance to see how people really are. If they try to take advantage of your kindness, they then show what they are really like.”

So would the Jermaine of 2017 have any advice for his younger self?

“You know, I don’t think there would ever be any advice.” he said.

“This business is up and down. You meet people who pat you on the back – some of them mean it and some of them don’t.

“The one thing I would probably do is to just try to find a little more time for myself. From the moment we step out of our homes we belong to the public.

“Because we have entertained them for so many years they feel they can come up and ask for a picture and I have no problem with that. I’ve never said ‘no’ in all the years of doing this and I’ll continue to do that.

“But, perhaps I’d like to try and find a little more time for myself.”

However, the draw of playing live in the UK remains a very special thing.

“The UK has been great to us,” said Jermaine. “I remember the first time we came over as the Jackson 5 and it has always been a great place to be. The fans are very loyal and very dedicated and so we just try to do our part and support them.”

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