Gig review: The Gerry Rafferty Concert, Paisley
Bring It All Home: The Gerry Rafferty Concert
Town Hall, Paisley
Star rating: * * * *
Thankfully for unsated Rafferty fans – and even those with only a limited knowledge of his catalogue – some of the prime movers behind those concerts, including Rafferty’s daughter Martha, former Stealers Wheel member Rab Noakes and his contemporary Barbara Dickson, convened once more on what would have been Rafferty’s 67th birthday for another deeply felt celebration of his music as part of his hometown’s Bring It All Home festival.
This reconfigured tribute also featured new songs and new contributors, not least a generous ensemble of musicians from the RSNO, but the goal remained the same – to represent and offer a fresh perspective on the length and breadth of Rafferty’s career from his folk roots in the 1960s right up to music he was working on prior to his death in 2011.
With integrity at the heart of each lovingly conceived rendition, the highlights flowed. Noakes offered a stripped-down Baker Street with the famous sax solo played plangently on electric guitar (as originally recorded by Rafferty); Roddy Hart displayed just the right vulnerable vocal tone for Right Down The Line and Whatever’s Written In Your Heart; Jarlath Henderson, accompanied by his piping partner Ross Ainslie, delivered a luminous folk rendition of Look Over The Hill And Far Away and Siobhan Wilson silenced the room with her breathy but magnetic solo version of My Singing Bird.
Martha Rafferty led a group of family friends, including her own daughter Celia, plus Georgia and Eliza Cass and Miwa Nagato Apthorp, in a gorgeous gossamer harmony rendition of The Ark, while at the pacier end of the spectrum, Emma Pollock led a rocking Night Owl – so rocking that the RSNO’s contribution could barely be discerned.
However, the orchestra made their mark with some characterful Cajun fiddling on Mary Skeffington and lush, romantic John Barryesque backing on Another World, both featuring the wonderfully poised Barbara Dickson.
Any of these performers could claim a special connection to the material. There wasn’t an emotional note out of place at any point but this tender team effort came together most intensely on the full ensemble finale of Family Tree.
Seen on 16.04.14