The Arts Theatre
Season Wrapped

I’ve been to a lot of concerts, A LOT of concerts and Joe Cocker at the Festival Theatre in 2005 would still be in my Top 20.

No bells and whistles (and I’m a fan of bells and whistles), just a legend with a great voice and great songs. Unfortunately, that meant I had high expectations for this show. Fortunately, this show met those expectations.

Steve Brown as Joe Cocker was exceptional. He looked a little like him in the face, but a lot like him in the twitchy finger movements and sounded a lot like him, nailing Joe’s raspy voice – how does his throat cope?

He was great all night, opening with The Rolling Stones “Honky Tonk Women” (which Joe did on the “Maddogs And Boogiemen” album), then singing all the hits. “You Can Leave Your Hat On”, “Feeling Alright”, “The Letter”, “Hitchcock Railway”, “Up Where We Belong” and finishing with “You Are So Beautiful” and “With A Little Help From My Friends”, from which I still have goosebumps. There were also a few surprises, including a cover of “Never Tear Us Apart”.

Steve had a bit to say through the night and I liked the way he introduced “Unchain My Heart” by saying when he was 12, Joe Cocker was his inspiration and Ray Charles was Joe’s inspiration.

Special mention to the talented 10-piece band, including the two back-up singers. In fact, the only issues on the night were the 15-minute delay at the start (possibly not Steve’s fault) and that group of punters near me who talked loudly the whole time – definitely not Steve’s fault!

A guy in the line, while we were waiting to get in, told me he saw this show last time it was here and had to come back because it was so good. I’ll be saying the same thing to someone else in the line next time.

4.75 Stars

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