"The Ace Mechanic Returns" - Paul Carrack live in concert at the Sheffield Leadmill, April 2, 1996. Review by Peter Morton.

There is no doubt of Paul Carrack's talent as a musician, writer and performer, but to see him perform live with his own band including the likes of Tim Renwick and Gary Wallis was an occasion not to be missed. The show was the last of four sponsored by Virgin FM to promote his latest solo album, "Blue Views".

An almost packed house which not only included the Carrack family and friends but also fans who had all gathered to enjoy a great night of music. And we were not disappointed. Opening up with "No Easy Way Out" from his current album, it wasn't long before we had the hit, the excellent "Eyes of Blue" which also appears in the film starring Sean Bean called "When Saturday Comes".

The rest of "Blue Views" bar one song followed, during which Paul made a great reference to his playing days in this venue... "The last time I played here, when it was called The Esquire, was when I was fourteen, so at this rate by the year 2025 I should be playing the Arena!"

However, it wasn't just new material played, we got songs from a selection of other bands he had been with: "Tempted" from his Squeeze days, and "How Long?" from Ace were included, not forgetting the finale, last year's big hit for Mike & The Mechanics, "Over My Shoulder".

All in all, this proved to be a fantastic night and although Paul said that he wasn't feeling 100% during the show, one certainly couldn't tell. Maybe a full UK tour next time?

The setlist: No Easy Way Out / Eyes Of Blue / For Once In Our Lives / Always Have, Always Will / Tempted / Somewhere In Your Heart / Nothing More Than A Memory / Don' Walk Over Me / Love Will Keep Us Alive / Oh Oh Oh, My My My / How Long? / Over My Shoulder / Soul Cruisin'