It’s all about the voice, and, after 50 years in the business, Paul Carrack still sounds as great as ever.
Those rich vocals which soundtracked Mike and the Mechanics, Squeeze and supported some of the biggest names going, have a warmth and depth that makes an evening in his company such a sheer joy.
Backed with a superb six-piece band, he eased through his back catalogue and showcased some great tracks from his most recent album, These Days.
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This was a gig where you sat back and simply enjoyed a master of his craft at work.
Carrack bookcased his own material with covers, opening with Jackie DeShannon’s’ When You Walk In The Room perhaps best remembered as a hit for The Searchers – one covered it 30 years ago – and wrapped up the night with Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On.
Tempted, one of Squeeze’s finest tracks, was thrown in early on, and his songwriting links with Chris Difford were showcased throughout the gig, including Love will Keep Us Alive which was recorded by The Eagles.
It was relaxed and engaging throughout, and what a joy to see a gig where camera phones stayed pretty much in people’s pockets.
The big hits were all there too; a sumptuous Living Years – the one song that arguably defines his career – a romp through How Long to get everyone up out of their seats, and then back into the Mechanics’ set for Over My Shoulder.
As he thanked the audience for a great night, a voice from the balcony shouted: “Thank You!”
A sentiment which summed up a richly entertaining evening.