Paul Carrack, Gig Review. Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool (2018).

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 9/10

Unless you are part of the esteemed Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, you don’t see that many musicians performing a two night stand at the prestigious venue; it isn’t that it is not the done thing, it just happens that way, performers take to the stage, they give the audience the respect they are due and the harmony of expression and hopeful love, then they move onto the next town, perhaps only stopping to take a look at the city in daylight hours, rekindling a memory of their own, before the bus and their equipment drives on.

For Paul Carrack though, there is more than love for the city, there is a bond that is so strong that it is forged in a hybrid mix of Sheffield steel and the toughest of ropes that hold sea going vessels in place as they moor themselves to the heart of Liverpool’s mighty River Mersey. His open sleeve admiration for the music that dominated the charts of the 1960s is well known and with the legendary Gerry Marsden in the audience, the virtual hug between generations and musicians was a symbolic moment in the second of the two night residency and one that visibly moved many in the audience.

Two nights in the same venue for others might be seen as straying into the world of theatre, the same set repeated, the high chance of repeat adulation, yet there has always been something about Paul Carrack that leads the listener to understand that it is not about the stage light or the scene stealing panache, it is impossible to think those thoughts when the musician is as grounded, as down to Earth, as Paul Carrack, a man to whom These Days is as important as what has gone before and the hopeful future to come.

With a new album due out in April, Paul Carrack and the incredibly sublime band came out to the applause of the treasured and cherished. Anybody can be a conquering hero, but their lives are short, time allowing their statues to become oxidised and forgotten, what is truly lasting is the respected and loved, those that see an audience and puts them first, almost unselfishly, certainly thoughtfully and as new songs were placed alongside older and much loved favourites, that love was felt keenly and with passion from an awe struck crowd.

In songs such as Watching Over Me from Soul Shadows, Satisfy My SoulTempted, the Mike and the Mechanics heartbreaking but full of truth track, The Living Years, Love Will Keep Us Alive, That’s All That Matters To Me, the superb Eyes of Blue and How Long, the joining of forces of what is to come in the next couple of months was palpable, stylish but as always with that smile that said more than a thousand words could capture.

A two night residency, a weekend in the hands of Britain’s much loved musicians, sometimes life is just too pleasant and too creatively endearing to not to want to lose yourself to time. Paul Carrack once again took a Liverpool audience on a journey which was devastatingly beautiful.

Ian D. Hall

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