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The Midlands Rocks

Paul Carrack @ Symphony Hall, Birmingham – Saturday 18 March 2017

Review By Dean Pedley.

Just three weeks after Mike & The Mechanics performed at Symphony Hall their erstwhile vocalist Paul Carrack was at the same venue for a two night stint that saw the shows filmed for a future live release. The Sheffield born singer songwriter, aka The Man with the Golden Voice, served up a career spanning two hour set that encompassed all of his best loved songs alongside several numbers from 2016’s Soul Shadows.

Backed by a six piece band Carrack is an almost apologetic frontman, very much self-effacing and gracious. And it is probably fair to say that whilst many will know the songs far fewer will recognise the name – especially considering that his transatlantic hits have been in the guise of Ace, Squeeze and the Mechanics. But you cannot argue with two nights at Birmingham’s finest venue and the voice reigns supreme, evidenced by his impeccable delivery of the likes of ‘Another Cup of Coffee’, ‘Tempted’, ‘Over My Shoulder’ and ‘Don’t Let The Sun Catch You Crying’. The mood throughout is very much slow and easy, characterized by the blue-eyed soul of ‘Too Good to Be True’ and ‘Satisfy My Soul’.

The pace drops still further for a mid-set acoustic breakdown that included a simply stunning cover of Van Morrison’s ‘Into the Mystic’. And after remaining largely passive throughout, the audience rose as one to acclaim ‘The Living Years’ – albeit the restrained arrangement was notably missing the emotion and drama of the original. The most up-tempo moments are saved for the end with ‘How Long’ providing a call and response sing-a-long and Carrack putting down his guitar for a joyful rendition of ‘What’s Going On’. This was never going to be a show to set the pulse racing but the strength of delivery was superb throughout and the Golden Voice remains on top form.

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