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Review: Paul Carrack, Theatre Royal, Norwich

08:14 20 April 2014

Paul Carrack

Paul Carrack

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Paul Carrack

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Theatre Royal, Norwich

He has been tagged “the man with the golden voice”. And Paul Carrack was in 24 carat form when he dropped into Norwich at the end of a seven-month tour.

Our pre-show meal waitress asked “Paul who?” But the uninitiated would be surprised how many of his songs they actually know.

For the prolific and proficient musician has penned and performed chart songs for his former bands Ace, Squeeze and Mike and the Mechanics as well the Eagles and for himself.

They range from hanky-dampening emotion (The Living Years) to hand-clapping, singalong anthems saved for the finale (Over My Shoulder and How Long).

The meat in the rest of the sandwich is difficult to put in a musical pigeon hole - with blues, soul, pop and rock all in the mix.

A smattering of covers included the silky soulful I’m Losing You from Brenda Lee in the 1960s to a 1992 Bruce Springsteen ballad If I Should Fall Behind.

But the menu was mainly his own compositions, given the stamp of Carrack’s distinctive voice, and enhanced by a tight six-piece band featuring stand out solo work by Andy Staves on guitar and Steve Beighton on sax.

The golden voice had a hint of end-of-tour huskiness in places, but the gig still glistered brightly as a near sell-out crowd of “Carrack tour witnesses” will vouch.

Special mention to for opening support act Elliott Morris whose percussive acoustic guitar skills - capturing traditional folk to Michael Jackson - were an entertaining warm up.

Richard Batson

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