Art of the Song: Carole King’s Tapestry – Date 17-07-2015 20:00 – Main Auditorium
Initially I thought Carole King was a surprising choice as the second in the ‘Art of Song’ series from the National Concert Hall. While King is a huge name in music, she is not an obvious successor to David Bowie who was celebrated in the first of the series. Sometimes it is good not to go for the obvious choice as this night proved and with the Concert Hall packed out last night (17-07-15), King certainly has her fans!
The concert was broken into two halves, the first performing the songs she wrote for others and the second focusing on Tapestry. She wrote, along with her then husband Gerry Goffin, more than two dozen chart hits with some hugely familiar songs amongst the list. As Bronagh Gallagher said, there would be a few surprises as many of the songs were made familiar by others. Songs such as “Chains” (covered by the Beatles); “The Loco-Motion” (Little Eva), “Take Good Care of My Baby” (Bobby Vee); “Up on the Roof” (the Drifters) and “Crying in the Rain” (Everly Brothers) were performed on the night and all were written or co-written by King. Another song she wrote was the twisted love song ‘He Hit Me (And It Felt Like A Kiss)” which is a song that would receive condemnation if written today as a celebration of domestic violence, but it does give you goosebumps!
The list of performers had a heavy emphasis on women, with Jennifer Evans, Bronagh Gallagher, Cathy Davey and Mary Coughlan, with the Lost Brothers being the token men on the night! The band included piano, guitar, bass, saxophone, drums and backing vocals, with a three piece string section featuring during tapestry. Gavin Glass featured amongst the backing band, playing piano and guitar and also singing one duet with Bronagh Gallagher.
In the second part of the night ‘Tapestry’ was performed in chronological order. As an album, there is not quite the number of hits amongst the track list, but there was a feeling that everyone inside the auditorium knew the album backwards, with gasps of excitement every time a song name was mentioned. Songs such as “I Feel the Earth Move”, “It’s Too Late” and “You’ve Got a Friend were the highlights of the set, with the sing along number “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” featuring the vocal talents of all four female singers to end the evening. It was a celebration of King’s work and it was obvious that a huge amount of work and rehearsal that went into it, made all the more surprising that it was for one night only. We look forward to the next in the series from the Concert Hall.