Gig review: ANDREW ROACHFORD – Live Rooms, Chester, 2 November 2017

ANDREW ROACHFORD - Live Rooms, Chester, 2 November 2017

Andrew Roachford has spent much of 2017 gigging with Mike + The Mechanics – during which time he was described in our review as ‘the epitome of cool.’  We should be grateful, therefore, that he can find the time to tour fairly regularly with his own band.

I have to admit that back in the 1990s I was a closet Roachford fan, aware of his music and with a couple of singles from his 1994 album ‘Permanent Shade Of Blue’. I was surprised this evening when I realised just how much of the setlist came from that album and reiterating why I liked Roachford in the first place.  I think I might be a soul boy at heart.

ANDREW ROACHFORD - Live Rooms, Chester, 2 November 2017

Roachford bridged both rock and soul with his early albums and more recently he has taken a more measured, soulful approach.  His current offering is an album of cover versions.  With several tracks featured tonight fortunately this didn’t detract from the excellence of his own music, whilst reinforcing his ability to breath new life into the classics.

First of these was ‘(I Don’t Know Why) I Love You’ one of my personal favourites when I bought  the single ‘My Cherie Amour’ in 1969 and realised the ‘B’ side was just as good.  And a more upbeat rendition of ‘Ain’t No Sunshine’ and an excellent ‘Family Affair’ completed a triple whammy from ‘Encore’.

But I have to say it was the core Roachford material that really impressed including ‘The Way I Feel’ and.’Ride The Storm’.

ANDREW ROACHFORD - Live Rooms, Chester, 2 November 2017

You can also see how Andrew was a good fit when he joined Mike + The Mechanics several years ago: tracks like his own  ‘Lay Your Love On Me’ and ‘Only To Be With You’ are not dissimilar in style.  And, if there were early crowd shouts for ‘Cuddly Toy’ it was the set closer ‘This Generation’ which really worked up a storm allowing all band members to stretch out in the extended ending.

With just his piano, Roachford returned for a justly deserved encore including ‘Family Man’ and a surprise  ‘Over My Shoulder’.  He’ll probably never be able to leave out ‘Cuddly Toy’ but when the band returned it was a fitting ending to an excellent gig.  The ‘epitome of cool’ delivered a wonderful performance straight from the heart and soul.

Satin Beige - Live Rooms, Chester, 2 November 2017

Earlier – in keeping with tonight’s soulful vibe – Liverpool-based Satin Beige impressed with a blend of street-wise R&B.  Some good songs including current single ‘Like You Did Before’ and striking use of a cello to provide a more jazz-oriented counterpoint.

Review and photos by David Randall

David Randall presents ‘Assume The Position’ on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio every Sunday at 22:00 GMT.

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UK Tour dates (November/December 2017)

2 Chester – The Live Rooms, 1 Station Road. 01244 318906. 7:00pm £16 + B/Fee
3 Darwen – Library Theatre, Knott Street. BB3 3BU 0844 847 1664 7:00pm. £15.00Adv £17 door
4 Selby – The Venue, 72 Ousegate YO8 4NJ 01757 707998 7:00pm. £15+B/Fee
10 Newcastle – O2 Academy, Westgate Road Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 1SW0191 260 2020 6:30pm. £18.70 inc B/fee
11 Glasgow – Oran Mor, Byres Road G12 8QX7: 0141 357 6200 7pm. £18.50.
12 Aberdeen – The Assembly , 3 Skene Terrace AB10 1RN 01224 641122 7:00pm. £18 NYL 17/7/17
17 Hull – Fruit, 62-63 Humber Street HU1 1TU 01482 221113 7.30pm £18+ B/fee
18 Norwich – The Waterfront Studio, 139-141 King Street. NR1 1QH – 01603 508050 6:30pm. £17.60inc B/fee
19 Lewes – The Con Club, 139 High Street. 139 High St, Lewes BN7 1XS – 01273 473076 7:30pm. £16. NYL 17/7/17
24 Farncombe – St John’s Church, St John’s Street GU7 3EJ – 01483 426353 7:45pm £18 adv + B/fee £22 door
25 Islington – O2 Academy, N1 Centre, 16 Parkfield Street N1 0PS – 020 7288 4400 6:30pm. £22.50 + B/fee
1 Manchester – Academy 3, Oxford Road M13 9PR 0161 832 1111 7:30pm. £16+ B/fee
2 Bedford – Esquires. 60A Bromham Road MK40 2QG 8:00pm. £16 Adv
7 Douglas Isle of Man – Villa Marina Prom Suite, 15 Harris Promenade. IM1 2HP 8:00pm. £18

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David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 18 April 2021 and includes the Top 10 albums at for that week.

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