Fronted by Worcestershire-based singer songwriter Clive John, suited in black and with the right voice and demeanour for Johnny Cash, this popular show takes you through the whole canon of the great man’s hits from the 1950s to 2002.
A variety of archive photographs projected on screen remind the audience of the life and legend of this extraordinary composer and performer, while John, his band and backing singers showcase his lasting musical legacy. It is surprising how many of the lyrics have entered our collective memory, especially those from his legendary performance at Folsom Prison, about which Clive John tells us Johnny was nervous, concerned about the reaction of the inmates. The rest is history.
After sorting out a few technical sound problems, the show comes to life and the near capacity audience at the friendly Eden Court are not disappointed. Sound is always difficult to manage and unfortunately, the initial impact of his introduction and entrance is lost. Once this is solved, the show moves up a gear. John is then joined on stage by three female singers – Amanda Stone, Emily Heighway and Debbie Watt – who perform as the Carter Sisters, with Stone as June. This brings a different dynamic to the show, particularly in the duets. Equally, the hard working band have their opportunity to shine as the Roadshow Horns.
Having toured successfully throughout Europe the staging and presentation seems a bit tired, and the costumes for the ladies would benefit from being updated and refreshed. But there is no doubt that a packed house on a Sunday evening is proof that this is a reliable and highly enjoyable tribute evening out for fans.