Gig review by Zyllah Moranne-Brown with photography by Ken Harrison

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Tonight to the delectable Symphony Hall to see a Sheffield-born singer, songwriter and former frontman of Ace, Squeeze and Mike & The Mechanics. The BBC dubbed him as ‘The Man with the Golden Voice’ and tonight’s performance is pretty much sold out as we take our seats for Paul Carrack.

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Support tonight comes from guitarist, singer songwriter and young talent that is Elliott Morris (as he says 2 Ls, 2 Ts, 2 Rs, one S – so he doesn’t get confused with a goalkeeper who gets lots of grief on Twitter!). He receives a warm and friendly reception from the audience as he gives us songs and his guitar dabbling – which entails tapping, slapping, strumming and fretting and playing his guitar all at the same time. Inspired by the likes of  guitar legends Michael Hedges, his performance is quite mesmerising to watch. He’s entirely unsigned, Paul Carrack spotted him at a gig and asked his to support him on this tour. From his own stuff to covers, he completes his set with his take on the classic ‘Billie Jean.’

So Paul Carrack returns to the road following his widely acclaimed recent album release ‘Rain or Shine’, which was a mix of new original songs and classic tracks. Besides being a member of Ace, Roxy Music, Squeeze and Mike & the Mechanics, his songs have been performed by the likes of The Eagles, Diana Ross and Tom Jones and he’s recorded and toured with Elton John, Eric Clapton and BB King. The list of people he’s worked with is endless.

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Carrack appears on stage with full 7 piece band in tow and starts off with the rolling ‘Good Feeling.’ “How you doing?” as he emerges from behind the keyboard to the front of the stage – guitar in hand and we sing along to his rendition of  ‘Everytime You Walk In the Room.’

He reckons this be the poshest venue on the tour (The Symphony Hall is indeed impressive) and puts a plug out for local venue The Robin 2 – at which he will be once again playing later in the year. ‘All That Matters’ before a little bit of Squeeze and what goes down very well right now – a little bit of ‘Another Cup of Coffee’; his dulcet tines ringing through the venue as we sing.

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His set is stylish, professional and tight as you would expect of such an established musician – the audience sit and take it all in – next track, recorded by The Eagles, ‘Love Will Keep Us Alive,’ before a track from his most recent album ‘Time Waits For No One’ which jams on down.

Back to Squeeze and we’re singing again ‘Tempted’; his vocals soulful and professional. And as he starts off on a Brenda Lee Cover ‘I’m Losing You’ – he stops – he’s quite literally lost his earpiece! A quip and joke and earpiece back in place – he’s off again. Occasionally there’s a man sneaking around the stage with a pole. And on then end of the pole is a tiny Go Pro Camera which he ventures into places other people with cameras would not dare to venture. It’s quite entertaining to watch him as he sneaks between band members.

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Carrcak’s set continues the mix of covers, songs he’s written for others, songs for him, ‘Don’t Dream Its Over’, new single ‘Stepping Stone’, Springsteen’s ‘If I Should Fall Behind.’  Then to Mike & The Mechanics with his take on ‘The Living Years.’ After taking in so much of the gig, the crowd are finally rising to their feet, to join in with ‘How Long.’

Quick break and then the encore – ‘Make Your Mind Up’ followed by us all singing along to Mike & the Mechanics ‘Over My Shoulder.’

Paul Carrack has a soulful voice and continues to have a varied career – as lead singer, sing writer, session musician and in his own right. With his soulful voice, him and his full band deliver a professional and stylish set. He went down well with his fans tonight- the venue was very close to being sold out. So if you be ‘Tempted’ check him out at The Robin when he returns.

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Setlist

Good Feeling
Everytime You Walk In the Room
All That Matters
Another Cup of Coffee
Eyes of Blue
Love Will Keep Us Alive
Time Waits For No One
Tempted
Just For Tonight
One In A Million
I’m Losing You
You Don’t Know Me
Don’t Dream It’s Over
Stepping Stone
If I Should Fall Behind
I Think It’s Gonna Rain
The Living Years
When My Little Girl Is Smiling
How Long

Encore:
Make Your Mind Up
Over My Shoulder

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