“Paul Carrack” Live at the Leamington Spa Centre January 30th 2009. Review by Mark Kenyon.
My significant other and I arrived at the venue after a mad and confusing dash through Warwick and Leamington Spa; I am still disappointed that the venue is not efficiently sign posted from the A46 south of Coventry.
We parked in our usual spot and we followed a mass group of well dressed people to the venue, Paul’s show seemed to have attracted half of Warwickshire by the looks of it.
We entered the venue and it was quite packed with patron’s, After a quick browse of the merchandise stand I realised that the merchandise was cheaper than some of the big internet stores that are selling the same items. I waited to purchase my items until after the show.
I sat down with my significant other in our seats, as we were instructed that the show would be starting at 19:30hrs which is a little unusual and early for a Pop/Rock/Soul show.
At least 99% of the audience were in attendance when the concert started, although there were a few late comers which were shown to there seat in between songs. The venue staff seemed highly professional with this as though they had almost rehearsed for this very predicament.
I was in amazement as to what tonight’s show had on offer after all Paul Carrack has over 30 years of music heritage to draw on.
Paul Carrack came onto stage alone for the opening number and he was welcomed by a round of applause, with the stage lights quite dimmed for an almost intimate feel to the start of the show.
Just before the second song of the evening the band in its entirety entered the stage to a large round of applause and then they commenced the second song of the set, the lighting and projected video changed to give the stage a totally different feel that oozed pure quality.
Paul and his band took the classic “Don’t Dream Its Over” from the New Zealand band Crowded House and he performed this in his own style which was a rather pleasant version of the Finn brothers song, that was not the only song Paul covered during the evenings performance we were treated to Paul’s soulful rendition of the Marvin Gaye song “What’s Going On”.
Paul Carrack and the band continued with a whole gamut of different songs from Paul’s’ solo career then came the interval where some of the audience made there way to the bar or the merchandise desk.
The crew and backline technicians adjusted or moved some equipment on stage and then Paul appeared then the second set commenced.
At was at this point that the casual fans became amused as Paul commenced the second set with a rather soulful rendition of the ACE classic “How Long” this most certainly did the trick as the audience were a bit more receptive to this radio friendly classic, most of the audience were clapping in time to the drummers beat of the snare drum.
Next up was the classic hit “Tempted” from Paul’s first time with Squeeze, this classic was played with a newer and invigorated twist as in a slightly faster beat but this did not detract from the brilliance and simplicity of the song with the band members joining in on the pieces that Paul didn’t sing on the original.
In all fairness “Tempted” being the second song of the second set meant it could not have been played at its original tempo as that would have set the wrong feel so early into the set so Kudos to Paul and the band for the new spin on this classic.
Paul also drew from his time within Mike and the Mechanics, with songs such as “Silent Running” “Over my shoulder” “Another Cup of Coffee” and of course the deeply moving “Living Years” all of which Paul did justice with and he never strayed too far from the original versions except for “Silent Running” which in my opinion had an improved feel about it especially with the Saxophone mixed into this version.
The lighting was especially menacing during “Silent Running”
Paul is a rather talented multi instrumentalist what with his use of Piano, Keyboard, Acoustic 12 string guitar, Acoustic 6 string guitar, and an Electric 6 string guitar.
“Satisfy My Soul” was another song which touched me, In fact it sounds like it was inspired by Sam Cooke as it is in the same vein of his work this was a beautiful moment in show another pace and trend setter which reminded the audience that Paul Carrack can be innovative in other genre’s
Although the beautiful “Eyes of Blue” was an emotional treat also.
Paul’s choice of set list was able to please all kinds of fans from new comers to faithful fans, I being a new comer to Paul’s solo side was quite pleased because Paul’s solo music has been on the radio hence why a lot of the solo songs I thought I didn’t know initially became old friends by the end of the show.
It was quite an interesting moment when Paul Copley whom is another multi instrumentalist was able to come from behind his usual perch of Keyboards up to the front of the stage with a microphone and he sang soulfully with a rather relaxed mannerism about him that almost verged on the Las Vegas lounge feel but Paul Copley’s performance still conveyed the fun to be had when at a Paul Carrack show.
All of the band never faltered during the evening performance, there was not a bum note or dropped stick or wrongly selected sample (on the keyboard) at all this band is a truly well oiled machine.
- Paul Carrack – vocals, keyboards, rhythm guitar, acoustic guitar
- Paul Copley – vocals, keyboards
- John Robinson – lead guitar
- Jeremy Meek – bass guitar
- Steve Beighton – Saxophone
- Dean Dukes – drums and percussion
The lighting was a real treat which most certainly came into its own during the second set, the sound was ideal and Paul’s vocals could be faithfully heard throughout the whole performance.
The ticket price was more than fair for the show that the audience was treated to, including encores and a large band with the visual projections and the quality lighting show as well which makes me feel as though the tickets were of great value.
I would recommend seeing Paul Carrack live to anybody and make sure you stop by the merchandise desk as there are some great bargain’s to be found there.
For more information about Paul Carrack please visit his official website at carrack-uk.com