Paul Carrack performing at The Royal Concert Hall Nottingham on Saturday 4th March 2017.

Images and Review by Kevin Cooper

Mention the name Paul Carrack and often you will be met with blank stares. Sing a few lines to his songs, The Living Years or Over My Shoulder and he becomes instantly recognisable. But it is testament to the calibre of this artist that with no new album out he still managed to play before a packed Royal Concert Hall last night, proving that many do know exactly who he is.

With an immense back catalogue of songs from his time with the likes of Ace, Squeeze and Mike + The Mechanics as well as a very successful solo career, it was Too Good To Be True from last year’s album, Soul Shadows, that was the opener with Carrack taking centre stage with his guitar and obligatory hat. With its brilliant saxophone interlude from Steve Breighton, it was a lively start. Other new tracks were given an outing such as the brilliant Late At Night with its funky feel and the lovely Sleep On It.

With a very talented six piece band which included his son Jack on percussion and drums, they rattled through such delights as the melancholic Satisfy My Soul with Carrack taking on piano duties, the beautiful Eyes Of Blue and the raucous Better Than Nothing with Andy Staves showcasing his subliminal guitar skills.

An acoustic set saw Carrack at the front of the stage for When My Little Girl Is Smiling, Van Morrison’s Into The Mystic, When You Walk Into The Room and his own Life’s Too Short, all of which served to showcase his unique, mellow and bluesy voice.

With the band back on stage for Tempted, Carrack dedicated Love Will Keep Us Alive to the late Glenn Frey of The Eagles, and for BBC Radio Derby presenter Andy Potter who passed away recently there was The Living Years, which was simply mesmerising as the spotlight found Carrack in a particular moving way. And with a closing section that included his first hit with Ace, How Long, the audience were on their feet in appreciation.

If some didn’t know who Paul Carrack was at the start of the evening, they were left with a lasting impression by the end of it, and questioning just how long it will be before he is back.