Paul Akister & Friends

Music review
Music review
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Lancaster Grand Theatre

With proceeds from tonight going to the Children’s Ward of the RLI, and almost every seat occupied before the first act, Brendan Cleary, takes to the stage.

With a voice similar to that of Ed Sheeran, his five-song set makes for a pleasing, enjoyable start.

Next up are 24 Seven, a local jazz/soul band who with Paul A on vocal duties, bring a new and entirely different sound to hits such as The White Stripes’ Seven Nation Army. 15 year-old Amy-Jo Cloth’s bubbly personality appears to hinder her set as she regularly voices her hopes that everyone enjoys each song, but her musicianship as she strums her guitar is strong and her cover of ‘At Last’ goes down well.

Before Paul even puts a foot back on stage applause and cheers echo around the room as The Bay’s Danny Matthews calls out his name. He begins with a rendition of X-Factor audition room song ‘A Change Is Gonna Come’ and the reaction is one maintained throughout his set – the crowd whistle, cheer and applaud.

For more than 40 minutes Paul walks, talks and sings his way into the hearts and minds of all present, and a rendition of Daniel Merriweather’s ‘Stop Me’ leaves them dancing in the aisles.

A finale of ‘A Song For You’, the performance watched by over 10m people, marks just how gifted a man he is. As the last note rings out, the audience rise to their feet and applaud. Paul graciously took a small bow while voicing his thanks and appreciation.

Lancashire is home to some great talent, but this evening, Paul Akister came top of them all.

Having raised £2,000 by shows’ end, the benefits and pleasures of tonight will be enjoyed by many far beyond those inside this Grand venue.

Rebecca Haslam