Roger Whittaker, Southport Theatre May 31 2005

A ROGER Whittaker concert is like a musical travelogue through his prolific forty years of recording and performing.

The Southport audience - the first of his fans to see him on his Now and Then 25-date UK tour - enjoyed every anecdote from the musical memories of his native Kenya to his close family life in Ireland.

There are also all those hits to squeeze into his two-hour shows notably Durham Town and New World in the Morning.

Roger has clearly lost none of his enthusiasm or the vocal richness - even if he did sing in an almost conversational way when it came to some of the lyrics. "I am a singer who whistles a bit ," he pointed out modestly, while ably displaying this dual talent on the atmospheric Skye Boat Song.

Fronting a polished six-piece band he also provided plenty of up-tempo numbers such as the Beach Boys Sloop John B. Roger then recalled another favourite song of his - the Nashville-influenced River Lady.

All his hits received rapturous responses especially the haunting maritime tale The Last Farewell.

Roger is also a generous performer and he saluted Ralph McTell by performing the classic The Streets of London.

The ballad Wildwood Rose was another highlight.

He ended the concert with tribute to folk and Irish music with Dirty Old Town and Whiskey in the Jar respectively.

It was a colourful package of greatest hits and cover versions from this all-round accomplished entertainer.

By Peter Grant, Liverpool Daily Post

Liverpool Daily Post  
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