Sheryl Crow – Nottingham Royal Concert Hall 22.6.18

Sheryl Crow forgets a singer’s surname*, then blurts it out mid-song. ‘Aging: you get all this great wisdom, but can’t remember any of it.’ She’s 56, she reminds us, yet looks fantastic, in a white ‘Give Love’ singlet and spangly jeans.

It’s 25 years since Sheryl Crow’s hit debut album Tuesday Night Music Club and her first Nottingham visit, to Rock City. Tonight, we’re host to the last of three of shows before she plays the Isle of Wight festival on Sunday.

Crow’s six-piece band hit the ground running with debut hit, All I Wanna Do, jumbo guitar strapped behind her back. A storming A Change Will Do You Good next, then, sans guitar, a terrific My Favourite Mistake. In case you had any doubts about this being a Hits tour, Leaving Las Vegas comes next.

She explains how a cover of First Cut is the Deepest lengthened her career, then the hits keep coming: Can’t Cry Any More, Every Day is a Winding Road, you name it, with a sprinkling of newer songs and a few caustic Trump references in the middle.

Crow’s work blends country and blues with a pop/rock sensibility. Crisp guitars turn crunchy when they need to and Audley Freed has some sweet solos. Her songs have a strong sense of lived experience, with no clichés. She also does delicate, with a voice good enough to ape classic sixties girl singers on a sublime Home and a gorgeous Strong Enough. Change Your Mind, where she takes a harmonica solo, and encore Real Gone are satisfyingly Stonesy. A rousing If It Makes You Happy and the joyful bubblegum of Soak up the Sun close the main set.

She concludes final encore, I Shall Believe, at the keyboards, with a touch of gospel. Two excellent hours.

Setlist and photos by Laura Patterson here. Photo above by my +1, Terry. * It was Brad Shelton, whoever he may be. Given the current heatwave, this seems the only apposite Crow song to accompany the post above.