ONE of my favourite nights of the year came early when Paul Carrack stopped off at the Pavilion on his Good and Ready tour to accompany the latest album One on One.

Having caught at least one show on each tour over the past 12 years or so I knew we were in for a great night.

What keeps me coming back? I could say it is that soulful voice or those wonderful bluesy songs or a band that are so tight you could not get a cigarette paper between them but to be honest it is no single thing.

Every time I have been to a Paul Carrack gig it has been like entering a bubble where everything is just as it should be.

From Paul and the band to the sound and light show via other members of the crew I chat to no one seems to put a foot wrong. And tonight it was no different.

Crowd favourite Tempted put in an early appearance as did Eyes of Blue and the tender That’s All That Matters To Me written about his daughter.

A beautiful version of Love Will Keep Us Alive proved to be one of the highlights of the evening for me.

This was quickly followed by You Are Not Alone from One on One, which provided the only blip of the evening as it required a restart due to forgotten lyrics. A cover of Charlie Rich’s Behind Closed Doors provided another highlight.

Each of the musicians on stage had the opportunity to showcase their individual talents showing that a man of Paul’s talents can attract band members who are also at the top of their game.

Of course, it is the most popular hits that drew the greatest reaction. The Living Years still sends a chill down my spine despite having heard it a hundred times. How Long was a literal showstopper as it closed the main set to a standing ovation. Looking Back did not quite make a grown man cry but what a great song to keep the crowd on their feet and singing along.

What a great night of entertainment from a great singer/songwriter with a great band and crew behind him. Everyone both on the stage and in the crowd seemed to have a good time so let’s hope it is not too long before Paul rolls back into town, and when he does make sure you go along. A show not to be missed.