Review: Barbara Dickson at The Liverpool Philharmonic Hall

Posted on 9 March 2015
By Jeanette Smith
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Barbara Dickson, ended a 24-date tour at The Liverpool Philharmonic Hall paying homage to the city’s own playwright Willy Russell who was in the audience. For it was Russell’s play, John, Paul, George, Ring and Bert at the Liverpool Everyman in 1974 that started off her popular career.

From the play she sang Here Comes the Sun and added the wonderful Easy Terms, from another Russell musical, Blood Brothers. She got Willy to stand up to much acclaim from the home audience.
It was a night of eclectic music choices, from her hits including a poignant Caravans, Another Suitcase, from Evita, and Answer Me, to pure folk, such as Mary Skeffington, The Times They are A’changin to The Water is Wide.

Barbara’s voice is a pure as ever though at the end of a 24 date tour the odd strain could be detected. But she is nothing if not a trouper and gave it her all. She sang many songs from her latest album, Winter, which includes Advent and Christmas music supplemented with secular music including the slow and mellow Winters Come, a Gerry Rafferty track and Winter Song, written by Alan Hull of
Lindisfarne, a song that she has known for a very long time and now been able to record for her fans.

She even included a beautiful mellow song, Silence of the Dawn, by Benny Andersson, written for the millennium. As she said: “We got the 02, the Swedes got a wonderful song!”

She was backed by the multi-talented Troy Donockley on the wonderful uilleann pipes and electric guitar, Nick Holland on keyboard and vocals, bass player and vocals Brad Lang and on drums and percussion Russell Field. They are a tight little band and play a mixture of electro folk and pure gaelic tunes.

Of note was the haunting MacCrimmons Lament that reached into the very souls of the audience that then morphed into a seven part jig that got the auditorium bopping in their seats. As she said, it’s not only the Scots that like Scottish music, and she was right.

It was another night of triumph for Barbara who said it was wonderful to finish her tour amongst her beloved Scousers. After all, it was here in Liverpool where it all began.

Barbara Dickson
Liverpool Royal Philharmonic Hall
March 9th, 2015
Saturday. End of Tour.
Purple Revolver Rating: ***** Something for Everyone