Paul Carrack performing his Good And Ready Tour at The Royal Concert Hall Nottingham on Friday 18th March 2022

Images and Review by Kevin Cooper

It was Paul Carrack’s annual pilgrimage to the Royal Concert Hall on Friday night, interrupted only by a two year break due to the pandemic, and it felt like he was back where he belonged.

With an immense back catalogue from his time with the likes of Ace, Roxy Music, Squeeze and Mike + The Mechanics as well as a very successful solo career, it was the catchy new song Good And Ready that opened the show.

There was the self explanatory Precious Time and a new ballad in the classic Carrack mould, You’re Not Alone which was the first single from his latest album, One On One, and which was written for his daughter who had endured a very traumatic lockdown birth of Carrack’s grand-daughter and which was Radio 2’s Record of the Week.

But it was the Carrack classics that got the crowd excited. Tempted came early in the set and prompted the first sing along, whilst with Eyes Of Blue he gripped the crowd with his soulful voice. Whether with his guitar or behind the keyboards, the crowd just relaxed into the performance as he delivered his classy ballad, the blues tinged Satisfy My Soul, the lovely That’s All That Matters To Me and a cover of The Eagles Love Will Keep Us Alive.

Backed by a very tight band which saw guitarist Andy Staves and the brilliant saxophonist Steve Beighton regularly step into the spotlight, whilst Jeremy Meek’s bass and the twin drums of Dean Duke and Carrack’s son Jack drove the music along.

They all did justice to the delightful cover of Charlie Rich’s country classic Behind Closed Doors which was very well received and no Carrack concert would be complete without the wonderful The Living Years, a quiet, tender, emotional song which was simply mesmerising.

The Jackie de Shannon classic When You Walk In The Room had the crowd on their feet where they remained for set closer, the rousing How Long. Back on for the wonderful Over My Shoulder and new song Set Me Free, Carrack had confirmed his universal appeal, and his easy going manner, that will undoubtedly bring this crowd back next year.