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Soho Revue Bar, London W1, 9 December 2008

While album title 'I Know That Name' might seem a tad presumptuous there's no doubting the magnificent soul singer that is Paul Carrack.

And while it might come as a surprise to those who are familiar with his work with Ace, Roxy Music, Mike & The Mechanics, Squeeze, Nick Lowe and even Roger Waters, tonight's album showcase at the Soho Review Bar proved to be nothing short an exposition of the art of one of the UK's leading white boy soul singers who has an eye on the well heeled grey haired niche market.

And with Executive Producer and former Stiff records boss Dave Robinson pulling the strings who is to say that Paul cannot emulate the likes of Mick Hucknall and his recent tribute to Bobby Bland. The difference of course is that Carrack's new work relies in the main on his own song writing talent which is open ended enough to find room for the MOR style 'I Don't Want to Hear Any More', already successfully placed on the Eagles best selling 'The Long Run'.

Played live the song was given a meticulous airing but in truth it seemed bland compared too much of the rest of the soulful fare on offer. Opening with the superb 'How Long' his first hit with Ace, Paul quickly demonstrated a rare ability to make the very best of his vocal ability through well constructed, deftly arranged songs.

'No Doubt About It' - complete with a horn arrangement that almost trespassed on the opening line of 'Move On Up' - proved to be a palpable highlight and this was closely followed by the impressive single 'I Don't Want Your Love (I Need Your Love)'.

'Love is Thicker Than Water' also featured an impressive duet with the band's keyboard playing vocalist Paul Copley who confidently took to the front of the stage. And if the whole thing dangerously broached a sense of cabaret the vocal duet was of such quality that such thoughts were just as quickly banished.

The older 'Eyes of Blue' proved to be a watered down lovers rock reggae outing which for once underused its authors vocal ability. But this was a minor blip as the evening moved confidently towards a deserved two song encore comprising the Crowded House influenced 'Over My Shoulder' and a masterful reading of Marvin Gaye's 'What's Going On'.

Both songs proved Carrack to be both a great song writer and a superb interpreter of classic material. He also effortless proved that whatever the potential age group of his market, he remains a supreme white boy soul singer with a locker full of songs to back it up. Perhaps it's time we all held up our hands and realised we've all come of age. Rock may no longer be a cradle of innovation but that doesn't stop a master singer song writer like Paul Carrack honing his craft to magical effect.


Review by Pete Feenstra

Paul Carrack is Featured Artist on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio in January and will be featured in a Songwriters Special to be broadcast Boxing Day, Friday 26 December at 16.00

Paul is also interviewed on "Assume The Position", Sunday 14 December 15.00-17.00


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