Reviewer: Donna Kelly
Ask most people if they know who Paul Carrack is and chances are, you’ll be met by a blank stare. But while you may not recongise the name, you’ll certainly know the voice. Dubbed as ‘The Man with the Golden Voice’ by the BBC, the Sheffield-born singer/songwriter is the talent behind an array of UK pop hits including The Living Years, Tempted, How Long and Over My Shoulder.
Carrack first rose to prominence in the mid-1970s as the former frontman of British rock band Ace and new wave pop group Squeeze, but his biggest success was during the 80s and 90s as co-frontman (with Paul Young) and principal songwriter for Mike + The Mechanics. Carrack served as the band’s sole lead vocalist until his departure in 2004 and has since toured as a successful solo artist with a whopping 18 solo albums under his belt.
Carrack’s latest UK tour sees him return to the road for a 34-date tour across the UK, performing hits from his extensive back catalogue as well as material from his new album Soul Shadows. The show opens with a short 30-minute set from support act Robert Vincent before Carrack and his six-piece band bound onto stage opening with Too Good To Be True, a track from his new album, as well as Mike + Mechanics’ hit Another Cup of Coffee.
Carrack’s unique, mellow and bluesy tone is certainly hasn’t lost its appeal as the singer croons his way through ballads Satisfy My Soul and Eyes of Blue, as well That’s All That Matters To Me, a song he wrote about his daughter as she embarks on her travels around the world. Carrack is certainly an all-rounded musical talent, shifting between lead guitar, keyboards and grand piano as he performs tracks from new album including Sleep On It, Late At Night and the new single Let Me Love Again.
The show follows the crowd-pleasing formula of opening with a selection of new tracks before slowing the pace, eventually building up to a climax of famous hits. As a consequence, the set list is a little predictable and the show feels more laid-back than exciting. As a tribute to his session days, Carrack also gives is band latitude to jam snoozily through several numbers, notably Time Waits For No One and Bet Your Life, which becomes a little tiresome at times.
That said, there are some nice sections to the show including a touching tribute to Glenn Frey of The Eagles who died earlier this year and a simple yet effective version of The Living Years featuring the Warrington British Sign Language Choir.
As show draws to a close, Carrack belts out his biggest hits including How Long before returning to the stage for an encore of Over My Shoulder and When You Walk In The Room, the hit he wrote for The Searchers.
Carrack is undoubtedly a talented musician and his extensive back catalogue is certainly impressive but the show’s mid-tempo pace and predictable crowd-pleasing formula leaves you wanting more.
Reviewed on 21 February 2016 | Image: Contributed