Review: Paul Carrack at The Barbican
Paul Carrack, The Barbican
IN A NUTSHELL
Veteran British singer serves up a skilful blend of soul, pop and rock to an appreciative audience.
One of Britain's finest singers produced a slick and soulful show at a bafflingly half-full Barbican last night.
Paul Carrack, erstwhile member of Roxy Music, Squeeze and Mike and the Mechanics, was joined by a well-drilled eight-piece backing band for a set of familiar hits and new songs.
A freezing night might have deterred some from heading to the Barbican auditorium but Carrack, an engaging stage presence, was grateful to those who had turned out.
The start of the show was somewhat understated and, if truth be told, a little slow as Carrack showcased material from his latest album I Know That Name. There's nothing wrong with the songs, they're well-crafted and expertly played, it's just they aren't particularly memorable.
Things picked up after a short interval as the more familiar songs made their appearances in the set list.
Carrack's excellent voice tackled the likes of Living Years and Silent Running with aplomb, and he also demonstrated his instrumentalist skills on guitar, piano and Hammond organ.
You don't have a career as long as Carrack's without getting to know a few people and the 58-year-old Yorkshireman has a contacts book packed with A-list musician mates.
So it was no surprise when he was joined on stage by Eagles bassman Timothy B Schmit, who sang I Don't Want To Hear Anymore and Love Will Keep Us Alive to the delight of the largely grey-haired audience.
The bigger hits got the crowd on its feet, with old Squeeze hit Tempted and his mid-70s breakthrough song How Long particularly memorable. The set closed with No Doubt About It, and there was no doubt the band would be back for more.
Indeed they were, with Marvin Gaye's What's Going On highlighting Carrack's immaculate phrasing and vocal range, before the show closed with a faithful rendition of 1995 hit Over My Shoulder.
The audience loved it, it's just a shame there weren't more of them there to appreciate it. Perhaps if Carrack wasn't British he might just be far more widely-respected on these shores.