Dennis Locorriere, Gig Review. Liverpool Philharmonic Hall.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * * *

Over the last few years the main stage of the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall has hosted many impressive evenings with musicians who have come from and wide and been part of many different genres. For every single one of them, whether Richard Marx, Roger Hodgson, Robert Cray, Brain May and Kerry Ellis it has been a matter of joy and pride to give the Liverpool audiences something to go home, sit down with a drink and exclaim, ‘Wow, wasn’t that ace!’

For the former Dr. Hook singer Dennis Locorriere that is also true and as came on stage to respectful but loving applause from all gathered, the audience realised they were in for as good a night as the one that the musician recorded for posterity live in the city just a few short years ago.

With a career that stretches back over five decades and from the humble beginnings of the bars and clubs in New Jersey and the surrounding areas, Dennis Locorriere has honed his craft, he stands on stage as if he were a towering colossus but one filled with humility and a bucketful of self-deprecation and humour. Between songs, the musician that made touring back in the 70s an art form, gave the audience an idea of the man and his music, his adoration of the song-writer and American poet Shel Silversteen who helped him in his writing career was undoubted and by association the talent that lies in the voice of Dennis Locorriere in his ability to perform, not just a song or a ballad but to get the idea of a story across.

With several solo albums and an abundance of songs by Dr. Hook at his disposal there would always be someone disappointed that, as he kindly pointed out himself, he didn’t play their favourite one. No one in the audience though could have left saddened by any omission as what he sang for the crowd was beautiful, gracious and good natured. Songs such as Everybody Loves Me, A Couple More Years, the exquisite If Not You, Dance On Daddy’s Feet, Shine Son and Wonderful Soup Stone were greeted by the crowd like old friends and Mr. Locorriere visibly revelled in the appreciation.

With the evening having been split in two, effectively giving the singer his own support slot, there was so much to be taken from this show and with cracking songs such as Ask Her, the surreal but brilliant Freakin’ at the Freaker’s Ball and the show stopping Sylvia’s Mother included in the set there was more than enough to keep everyone happy.

A tremendous night out with one of the all-time greats of American music, a real honour!

Ian D. Hall