Paul Carrack, Gig Review. Liverpool Philharmonic Hall.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * *

There can be no doubting the musical aptitude and flair that resides in the body of Paul Carrack. A man whose talent is legendary and which stretches across so many decades and through so many groups and solo albums that if there was any fairness in the world, the iconic musician would have in another realm the moniker ‘National Treasure’ attached to his name after it is mentioned. However Paul Carrack is far too humble for that, you only have to watch him perform on stage around the country that is this a proud man, not frightened to send himself up when the occasion calls for it but who above all you cannot help but feel that no matter what, his family comes first and then his music.

For those souls braving the thought of the rain soaked theme of January continuing on the further into the New Year, the relief of the first big rock act to come to Liverpool after the festive period would have made the journey into town more than bearable, the image of skipping through endless puddles and the thought of excited music lovers making their way to the Philharmonic Hall in a mass celebration of a man who makes music as if he penning a love letter to a member of his family must have been heartening.

They were not to be disappointed at all as Mr. Carrack and his band performed tracks from his latest studio album, Rain Or Shine, and selected songs from a long distinguished career, whether it was the arousing beauty of Squeeze’s Tempted, the hopeful Another Cup of Coffee or the stunning sadness of The Living Years from his time with Mike and the Mechanics or through his own solo songs that have made him the musician of repute that he is today, all were given the ringing endorsement of a Philharmonic crowd ready to dust of the winter lethargy and post New Year dust.

With tracks such as Life’s Too Short, One In A Million, Better Than Nothing, the Gerry and The Pacemakers song, Don’t Let The Sun Catch You Crying, the fatherly tenderness of That’s All That Matters To Me and Stepping Stone contained in a set-list that grabbed the attention of all in the Philharmonic, it was easy to see why there were such big smiles at the end of the night, not just on all in the crowd but also on the face of a man who knows that music is not just a form of expression but one of the most important things in the world. A great night out provided by a master.

Ian D. Hall