Paul Carrack | Barbican | York | 12 February 2017

Reviewed for The Northern Echo, published 15 February

Yorkshire’s Paul Carrack may not be a household name but the artist has a loyal following who have long appreciated his qualities - terrific songwriting combined with one of the finest blue-eyed soul voices you will hear.

Responsible for Ace's "How Long", Squeeze's "Tempted" and Mike + The Mechanics' "Over My Shoulder" to name but a few, Carrack also has an extensive back catalogue of solo work – last year’s “Soul Shadows” was his seventeenth album.

Returning to York Barbican last weekend he delivered a pleasing set to a sell-out crowd. Swapping smoothly between guitar and keyboards throughout the evening, Carrack was on good form. Set opener "Too Good To Be True" and "Another Cup Of Coffee" featured Carrack on guitar in front of his tight, six-piece band that included his son Jack on drums/percussion.

The first notes of "Eyes Of Blue" elicited a collective sigh of pleasure from the crowd, before a beautiful cover of Gerry Marsden's "Don't Let The Sun Catch You Crying". "Time Waits" then provided the band the opportunity for an extended jam with each member enjoying their share in the spotlight.

Mid-set, Carrack's Snr and Jnr and bassist Jeremy Meek took centre stage for four acoustic numbers, the highlight of which was "One In A Million". A poignant version of "Love Will Keep Us Alive" the song Carrack co-wrote with Jim Capaldi and Peter Vale for The Eagles "Hell Freezes Over" album was dedicated to the late Glenn Frey before the big guns were wheeled out in the shape of "The Living Years" and "How Long". Carrack urged the crowd to stretch their legs during the latter, and they were happy to do so with couples swaying and dancing in front of their seats.

An encore of "Over My Shoulder" and a cover of the Marvin Gaye classic "What's Going On", Carrack and band wrapped up an excellent performance.

With several new tracks reportedly under his belt for his next album including a new single "Good as Gold" due out next month, Carrack's prolific form seems to be continuing, and his voice remains as soulful as ever. He's due at Sage Gateshead on February 23.


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