=10) Tom Seals
There is no doubt that Tom Seals is destined for greatness. His mastery of the piano means he can now be rightly compared with Jamie Cullum and Jools Holland. One to watch in 2019, judged by his performance at Pizza Express Live (Soho) in December.
=10) Tom Robinson
Although Tom Robinson has long moved on from being the anti-establishment figure of the 1970s, he still performs his back book of music with a mix of reminisce, wry humour and nostalgia. A born entertainer as this show at Pizza Express Live (Holborn) in February demonstrated.
9. Madeline Bell
Although now in her 70s, this formidable performer showed at the 606 Club in October that she has lost none of her zest for life – nor her soulful voice. A wonderful live performer.
Read the full review…
8. Kiki Dee
Kiki and guitarist Carmelo Luggeri have developed a compelling on-stage partnership. A show that embraces her 1970s hits – and some recent beautiful songs that maybe have gone under the radar. Review is from their show at the Pizza Express Live (Chelsea) in December.
7. Steve Harley
Harley’s lyrics have aged like a good port – and he delivers them with a tenderness that maybe he did not possess back in the 1970s. Still a wonderful performer on stage as this concert at Pizza Express Live (Holborn) proved beyond doubt.
6. Sarah Jane Morris
Sarah Jane Morris is a versatile performer as this show in December – part of the EFG London Jazz Festival – highlighted. Based on the music of John Martyn, it was a revelation.
5. Antonio Forcione
This genius of the guitar had an exemplary 2018, playing a string of concerts both here and on the Continent. On his own, with Sarah Jane Morris, or as part of his quartet.
One welcome addition was the vocal artistry of Martina Capponi to the quartet. An amazing voice, much in evidence at the Pizza Express Live (Soho) in December.
4. Hamish Stewart
Stewart, ex AWB, continues to thrive as this show at 606 Club in May demonstrated. While he continues to deliver some of the famous AWB tune with a real panache, he has made some marvellous music in recent years. The accompanying brass section and Adam Phillips on guitar gave this show a real zest.
3. Steve Norman
Few musicians have as good a rapport with their audience than Steve Norman, ex Spandau Ballet. A saxophone becomes talismanic in his hands. Surrounding himself with fantastic musicians, his May show at Pizza Express Live (Holborn) was pulsating fun. The audience were enthralled.
AWB 2018 may bear little resemblance to the band that came to the fore in the 1970s but they still pack a marvellous punch live. Founding fathers Alan Gorrie and Onnie McIntyre are complemented perfectly by the breath-taking vocals of Brent Carter. A super July night at Ronnie Scott’s in London.
1) Jamie Cullum
Performing to mark the 606 Club’s 30th anniversary in May, Cullum was electric on stage. A born performer. Quite simply brilliant. Turbo charged.