I attended the opening night of the Beverley Festival yesterday, mainly because I am a great fan of Paul Carrack, who is undoubtedly one of this country's finest singer/songwriters and musicians, with a glistening career going back to 1970. However, prior to Paul and his band coming on stage, my wife and I were treated to a couple of fine support acts, the first one being The Jess Gardham Band, who in their own words describe their music as "Funky acoustic soul with a feelgood vibe", and indeed it was, with some fine vocals and guitar playing from Jess, with excellent support from her band.
The second act was Sean Taylor, who is one the finest acoustic blues players that I've seen for quite some time. he captivated the audience with his style of playing, reminiscent of John Martyn, a truly fine musician, and like Jess Gardham before him, playing a lot of his own songs.
With the utmost respect to these upcoming talents, the highlight of the evening was the appearance of Paul Carrack and his band, playing a whole host of his own classics, covers of other great songs and some tracks from his latest album "A Different Hat", which features Paul playing with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
Towards the end of the set Paul encouraged the audience to "stretch your legs", it didn't take much encouraging, as everyone got up and moved to the stage and rocked to classics such as "How Long" and "Over My Shoulder"
Paul and his band eventually left the stage to rapturous applause, having given a great audience a musical night to remember. A truly great performance from a truly great musician, and a truly great band.
Looking forward to seeing Paul on his UK Tour, starting in the autumn. I will also be checking out both The Jess Gardham Band and Sean Taylor, who more than contributed to a fabulous evening.