Chris Isaak

“Other than his two classics name a Chris Isaak song?” This was how the conversation went on the way to the Civic Hall in Wolverhampton on Saturday night. We struggled. Fast forward two hours and whilst we still couldn’t name more than a handful of his hits the Gig Junkies photographer and I were reeling from the spectacle we had just witnessed. Superlatives a-plenty could be used to describe what we had seen, ‘spellbinding’ and ‘amazing’ being merely a couple.

Paul Freeman
Paul Freeman

Paul Freeman offered support to the all seated affair and having covered the singer/songwriter before on Gig Junkies we knew what to expect – really nice, middle of the road songs with lovely melodies. We were not disappointed as he strummed his acoustic guitar merrily through his set treating the audience to tunes like Radio 2 staple ‘Tightrope’. Nice.

Chris Isaak

Making his way to the stage in a duck blue, mass sequinned suit the crooner from California oozed star quality from the minute he stepped out in front of the crowd, gushing with the confidence of a man who – along with his band – had done this a multitude of times before. Kicking off with the somewhat clichéd ‘American Boy’ he wasted no time in eyeing up our resident photographer beezeebeebee and veritably flirting with her mid song. Thankfully, like the consummate professional she is, she stayed true to her trade and concentrated on the task in hand to produce some rather splendid shots.

Chris Isaak

First up of his classics was ‘Blue Hotel’ and for me this was the first real demonstration of how impressive a singer Isaak actually is. Pitch perfect and beautifully gravelly, not a foot was put wrong – even during the Shadows-esq dance moves with his slightly ageing, but ever-so nimble bass player. Excellent!

Chris Isaak

“Thank you for supporting live music” quipped the likeable front man, “if you did, or I’d just be a man in a sequin suit wondering around Wolverhampton”. Catchy, sing-a-long tune followed one after another, including the delectable ‘Somebody’s Crying’ and then it was time for the moment of the night ‘Wicked Game’ – which without doubt is one of the finest I’ve ever witnessed at a gig. Not only is the song a phenomenal one, but the vocal and musical delivery was nothing short of angelic.

More of the same followed as did the consummate vocal and guitar-man ship – much to the delight of the capacity crowd. Three fillies joined the band on stage for the aptly entitled ‘Baby Did’ (a bad bad thing) and whilst they gyrated their little ‘touches’ on stage, the band did what they do best and entertained the crowd whilst affording the odd little glance at their temporary dancers.

Chris Isaak

Having exhausted the best of his back catalogue, Chris and the boys then moved onto classics of yesteryear from the same genre from ‘Rings of Fire’ through to classics from the Kings of Rock n Roll Messrs’ Presley, Orbison and Lewis including ‘Now or Never’, ‘Pretty Woman’ (complete with giant ‘pretty woman’ backdrop. I think it was Elizabeth Taylor?) and ‘Great Balls of Fire’ accompanied with the simulated burning piano, much to the delight of the now largely standing audience. 

There was still time for the guitarist to find his way into the crowd to enhance the spectacle and then that was it… bows from the band and smiles a plenty from the audience and everyone making their way home smiling from ear to ear at the splendour they had just partaken in.

Gig Review by Zak Edwards
Gig Photos by Bianca Barrett

8 Responses to “Chris Isaak + Paul Freeman @ The Civic Hall, Wolverhampton, UK – 6th October 2012”

  1. Wayne Says:

    Shit the bed, that last shot rocks.

  2. Bianca Says:

    That was taken as he began to sing ‘Blue Hotel’ pretty cool huh! :)

  3. Sanne van Dooren Says:

    Thanks for a great review! And i love it that you have mentioned the amazing Paul Freeman as a support!! I love his music.

  4. Leathy Says:

    Just want to say thanks for the review, i was there and also thought it was fantastic, he is just such a show man, so funny too. They are great photos too so well done for that girl, and also for putting so many up on here. All the best.

  5. cath Says:

    Hi, great gig, I was one of the “fillies” on stage, was fun to do. love chris isaak, he is a great singer and entertainer. thanks for the pics above. xx

  6. Teresa Says:

    I was also a “filly” it was an amazing concert, one of the best of CI & S that I have been to! Your pics rock as does your review….good job!

  7. cath Says:

    hi teresa, mail me at as I have a great backstage picture of the 3 of us after our fun onstage to send you

  8. Joanne Woodward Says:

    In his own words chris was awesome. I loved california days but lost him for 25 years till I saw him on jerry lee lewis last man standing(a must for any fan) I sneaked from the back to the front of the stage and i will never forget chris’s smile-he is now 2nd with only Elvis to beat him-what a great singer/ songwriter showman and musician-I played beyond the sun 50 times in the first week and I am sorry to say to you pop fans-Chris is a great country singer and long may he do old stuff and country .

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