REVIEW: Roger Davies, Spotlight, Bridlington

Roger Davies
Roger Davies

Fresh from a UK tour with Fairport Convention, Brighouse troubadour Roger Davies dropped into Bridlington’s Spotlight Theatre for a 90-minute extravaganza of music.

Well-known in West Yorkshire for his folky brand of acoustic-based songs, Roger has established himself as a musical force to be reckoned with. He’s even been nicknamed the “Yorkshire Songwriter” owing to the fact that he writes so many songs about people and places in God’s own county.

In town to promote his latest album, Roger crooned his way through gorgeous songs such as Rolling Dice, Raised on Rock ‘n’ Roll and Time Goes By. However, it was the tongue-in-cheek mastery of Huddersfield Town and Brighouse on Saturday Night that generated the heartiest rounds of applause, his passion for his “homeland” clear to hear.

Naturally confident on stage, Roger introduced many of his songs with a short story related to whatever it was that had inspired such songs. Admitting that he was missing the company of his newfound Fairport Convention friends, he vaulted into James Dean with gusto, even though he was more used to being backed on such a track by the band since they would routinely join him on-stage to perform it while on tour.

Roger really comes into his own when he gets personal in his songs, his Peter Brook’s Paintings number waxing lyrical about Pennine artist Peter, whose work had long inspired Roger. Ending his set with Wear Your Poppy with Pride, he reminded one and all about the freedom-upholding sacrifices made by all those who fought in the World Wars.

In spite of the crowd being “small but perfectly-formed,” Roger’s performance proved beyond any doubt whatsoever that the Spotlight is a fantastically versatile venue, perfect not just for plays, but also for concerts. Let’s just hope that the powers-that-be invite more musicians along for similar nights in the near future.