Graham Nash performing his 60 Years Of Songs And Stories Tour at The Royal Concert Hall Nottingham on Wednesday 20th September 2023.

Images and Review by Kevin Cooper

Rock legend and two time Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Graham Nash brought his 60 Years Of Songs And Stories Tour to the Royal Concert Hall on Wednesday night and delivered a performance that had been infused with a kindness, sincerity and a generosity of spirit that is rarely seen these days.

The legendary 81 year old British singer songwriter was a founding member of both The Hollies and Crosby, Stills and Nash and both formed part of his songs and stories as he delved deep into his archives for two set show. Backed by former Bruce Springsteen guitarist Shane Fontayne and keyboard player Todd Caldwell they opened with Wasted On The Way which immediately showcased their harmonious vocals.

He skipped through his career, from The Hollies’ 1966 Bus Stop through Crosby Stills Nash and Young numbers to the present day with a couple of songs from this year’s album release, Now. In no time at all the crowd were singing along at the top of their voices, whilst in between songs Nash took brief moments to draw the crowd in, telling stories from his sixty years of playing music, as well as paying tribute to the artists that he has performed with.

During Military Madness he implored the all seated audience to sing the line “no more war” and to make sure that they were all heard in Moscow, and the spirited crowd duly obliged. New songs included Buddy’s Back, an ode to his old friend Buddy Holly and A Better Life which were both every bit as appealing as the oldies that dominated the set.

Amongst the timeless classics were Marrakesh Express and Taken It All before the first set was brought to a close with Chicago (We Can Change The World).

After a short break Nash opened the second set with the beautifully earnest Simple Man. Sleep Song followed which gave Nash the opportunity to reminisce about his old friend David Crosby who died from Covid related complications in January this year aged 81. He emotionally told the crowd that he had expected the hard living Crosby to have died years ago, but that he will think of him every day of his life.

Loading into 4+20, Nash spoke with great affection of his old band mate Stephen Stills, who wrote the heart wrenching song. There was drama too, as he delivered Cathedral, first recorded by Crosby, Stills and Nash which was dramatic and surging, and changed the pace and the mood.

Picking up the energy, Nash showed off his mastery of performance and pace, delving into a rousing rendition of Love The One You’re With, followed by a solid Just A Song Before I Go. His former lover Joni Mitchell featured heavily. He had dedicated numerous songs to her throughout the evening which visibly moved him. Finishing the second set with Our House, a song that he wrote about their domestic bliss in Laurel Canyon, the crowd loudly shouted for more.

Back on for his tribute to Buddy Holly, Everyday had the crowd on their feet in appreciation before the final song of the night, Teach Your Children had the deafening sound of applause filling the air.

As Nash unfolded his career on stage in song and story, the crowd were glued to their seats in awe of the life lived of the beloved musician standing before them, creating nostalgic moments and memories.

With his charming yet humble performance, his fabulous white hair and his high tenor impressively intact, Nash still has a lot to teach about putting on a great show. And as there surely will not be many more chances to see this 81 year old perform, it’s best to sign up to those classes sooner rather than later.