Dean Friedman performing his 40th Anniversary of “Well, Well”, Said The Rocking Chair UK Tour at The Third Stage at The Royal Concert Hall Nottingham on Friday 27th July 2018.

Images and Review by Kevin Cooper

Last night an intimate crowd at the Third Stage of the Royal Concert Hall were treated to two sets of magical songs by the great American songwriter, Dean Friedman, and each one was filled to the brim with talent, angst, overwhelming humour and a glint in the eye that promised much and delivered all that it set out to do.

Touring to celebrate the fortieth year of his landmark album “Well, Well”, Said The Rocking Chair, it was those songs that made up his second set. But as he strolled down the stairs and strapped on his acoustic guitar, the venue erupted with cheers and applause as he kicked off the evening with a late 70s number, Company.

Taking this audience on a fascinating personal journey through history, he explained how disputes regarding his McDonald’s Girl song led to it being banned, although it has since received quite a following, before he delivered an excellent toned down acoustic version of it to rapturous applause.

Friedman worked his way through his favourite songs of his long standing career such as the mischievous Death To The Neighbours, the humorous I’m Not Sorry To See You Go, and another about his mother’s love of cooking, A Million Matzah Balls, all of which served to endear this witty, wacky and wonderfully talented artist to the audience.

Next came a wonderful rendition of Woman Of Mine which saw him reach for those tremendously high notes with precision and ease, before new songs Your Pretty Face and This Guitar were given an outing.

The second half saw him launch straight into Rocking Chair (It’s Gonna Be Alright) which went down a storm. Fans were treated to an excellent Shopping Bag Ladies, The Deli Song (Corned Beef On Wry), S And M and album finisher, Don’t Let Your Hair Down, before a very lucky female audience member was invited to sing Denise Marsa’s part on a stunning performance of fans favourite, Lucky Stars.

With Lydia being a particular highlight, Friedman ended the show with only the song that he could, an excellent, faultless rendition of Ariel, managing the fast pace and high reaching range comfortably, as the fans sang along to every word.

Having delivered an evening filled with funny anecdotes and a real understated musical talent, this had been a night in which every song was loved, hummed to or openly sung alongside with, and Friedman seemed to enjoy it just as much as this audience had.