Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham, 14 February 2019

 

Paul Carrack, one of Britain’s hardest working performers is back on the road and continuing to thrill his legions of fans as he tours the UK through the spring.

Wearing his trademark hat and sunglasses, and with guitar in hand, Carrack opened his recent show at the Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham, with Late At Night from his 2016 Soul Shadows album and Amazing from his latest release These Days.

“It’s good to be back here,” he told a packed house. “We’ve had some great nights here in the past, I’m hoping this will be another. Thank you for coming, you know we appreciate it.”

The appreciation was mutual, Carrack’s appeal is universal with his easy-going manner, warm vocals and extensive musical catalogue. Whether with his guitar or behind the keyboards, his audience just relax into the performance as he delivers his classy ballads Satisfy My Soul and Eyes Of Blue or the more up-beat Tempted from his time with Squeeze.

His latest album features prominently in the early set with his band. Life In A Bubble, These Days and Perfect Storm are all well received before Carrack and the band move on to Make Your Mind Up which becomes an extended jam session.

Cue an acoustic interlude, Carrack with son Jack on drums while Jeremy Meek swaps his bass guitar for an upright bass. This set includes Let Me Love Again with Paul on piano before he picks up his own guitar for a brilliant version of Jackie de Shannon’s classic When You Walk In The Room, Dig Deep, another new track written by Carrack and his old mate Chris Difford, and three tracks from the Rain Or Shine album.

With the rest of the band: Andy Staves (guitar), James Locke (keyboards), Steve Beighton (sax) and Dino Duke (drums) back on stage Carrack returned to the piano to introduce Love Will Keep Us Alive, which he wrote with Jim Capaldi and Peter Vale. This track was recorded by the Eagles for their Hell Freezes Over album, and Carrack took a moment to remember the late Glen Frey, which was warmly applauded.

Time to up the ante and no Paul Carrack concert would be complete without The Living Years from his time with Mike and The Mechanics. This is such an emotional song, one that brought a lump to my throat and memories of my dear mum who passed away in December. It is a song that resonates with so many and brought couples to their feet for some close-dancing down the aisle at the side of the stalls.

The whole theatre rose to it’s collective feet as the track came to a close and now it was time to party as the band launched in to a rousing version of How Long, harking back to Carrack’s first appearance in the charts with his 70s band Ace.

With the audience still on their feet the band returned for an encore of Over My Shoulder (Mike and The Mechanics) and Marvin Gaye’s soul classic What’s Going On.

Throughout the evening the band were in great form, providing Carrack with the perfect platform from which to deliver a sublime performance. He had earlier hoped for a great night, we got one and, as he acknowledged his audience at the end, he seemed genuinely moved by their reaction, their warmth and their love for him.

 

SET LIST

Late At Night

Amazing

Satisfy My Soul

Tempted

Eyes Of Blue

Life In A Bubble

These Days

Perfect Storm

Make your Mind Up

 

Acoustic set:

Let Me Love Again

When You Walk In The Room

That’s All That Matters To Me

One In A Million

Dig Deep

Life’s Too Short

 

Love Will Keep Us Alive

Bet Your Life

The Living Years

How Long

 

Encore:

Over My Shoulder

What’s Going On