Review Date June 21, 2013

Review By Jela Webb

Location St George’s Church, Brighton

Promoters Melting Vinyl who have been bringing live music to Brighton for over a decade, once again pitched it perfectly by staging Ron Sexsmith in the hallowed surroundings of St George’s Church. The venue, with its wonderful acoustics and seating for up to 600, was pretty much full downstairs and a keen anticipatory vibe extended throughout the audience gathered for the show. Chatting with fans beforehand, together we pondered why Sexsmith who is so revered by many, has never really broken into the “big time.’ He writes songs that are simply short lyrical masterpieces, his voice is so appealingly distinctive and he has a cannon of work that is highly regarded by fellow singer-songwriters (fans include Paul McCartney, Elvis Costello, Ray Davies). In the final analysis we concluded that Sexsmith seems uncomfortable with all the other “stuff’ he needs to do to make that crossover. His self-effacing, introverted personality is perhaps at odds with having to “play the game’ and so he seems destined to remain something of a cult hero. Tonight, this cult hero, accompanied by a four-piece band who are his regular touring partners-Don Kerr (drums), Tim Bovaconti (electric guitar), Jason Mercer (bass guitar) and Dave Matheson (keyboards) ran through a 26 song set list. It included firm favourites, pre-show requests, more than a smattering of material from the latest release FOREVER ENDEAVOUR and a very rare performance of “Foolproof” from 2001’s BLUE BOY. Sexsmith had heard someone request “Foolproof” so gave it a go during the middle section of the evening when he was playing solo. Needless to say, the crowd was delighted to hear it. Sexsmith and Kerr released DESTINATION UNKNOWN a duo album back in 2005 and played “One Less Shadow” from it-it was good to see Kerr feature front of stage on vocals, rather than in his usual place, behind the drum kit. His tenor nicely complementing Sexsmith’s quavering voice. Sexsmith also dispensed with the band, except for Matheson, for “Miracles” teasing the other three by saying that it was too complicated for them! He dedicated the song to a couple who had been married to its strains-that’s the kind of devotion he inspires. He had another couple up on their feet and dancing in the aisle to “She Does My Heart Good” and they encouraged a few more to get up and dance too. All of them received a wonderful round of applause for their efforts. It was that sort of Midsummer night-laid back, dreamy, relaxed and happy both on stage and off. A standing ovation brought them all back for encores and included the only cover song of the night, Elvis Costello’s “Everyday I Write The Book.” Sexsmith is a gentle, honest soul who deserves every success-he refers to the new album as “lucky 13′ and let’s hope that it turns out to be just that!

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