Monday, 9 August 2010
So, my big night out in VEGAS didn't involve vodka shots or a wedding chapel but, more excitingly, tickets to see Carole King and James Taylor. I grew up on these two (although have sadly now lost all my mum's original records, sorry Ma!) and whilst James Taylor plays live quite a lot I don't remember Carole King having done so for a while. The gig was at the MGM Grand which, like most of Las Vegas, reminded me of bingo halls in Hull in the 1970s. However it did feature an awesome revolving stage!
They took turns playing their own songs, with JT playfully announcing Carole’s songs for her: ‘And then she wrote this!’ before Up On The Roof and ‘The Beatles covered this!’ before she played Chains. JT played guitar whilst Carole mainly stayed at the piano, although for some songs they played together on guitar with Carole rocking out Status Quo stylee, and for some they sat together and dueted. (They did this for Crying In The Rain – also written by Carole along with Gerry Goffin – and You’ve Got A Friend.)
Whilst JT certainly wrote some brilliant songs – he played Fire and Rain, Carolina In My Mind, Sweet Baby James – he has a very sweet, mellow way as he sings and plays the guitar. He was very tall, all elbows as he stooped over his guitar, dusting down Carole’s seat with his hat before she sat down, like a playful gentleman cowboy.
With Carole it was just an embarrassment of riches as she announced each of her songs and reminded us how many incredible songs she’d written (some along with Gerry Goffin); Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow, So Far Away, Jazzman, Sweet Seasons, I Feel the Earth Move, You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman. Incredible.
And she absolutely rocked the party. She was wearing killer heels and rocked out, doing high kicks, dancing… She had so much energy and just bounced all over the place with her bouncy hair. Not only that but she was a little bit frisky as well, giving JT full game-on eyes and dirty dancing with the guitarist whilst he was doing his solos. What a babe!
They said they’d had had to severely shortlist all the songs they’d wanted to sing and that it could have gone on all night. I would have been quite happy to sit there through to the morning. They had real chemistry and it was just such a treat to see two old favourites playing together and obviously really enjoying themselves. It kind’ve sucked to be pumped out into a casino afterwards and fed past endless shops, restaurants, slot machines but, hey. At least I got to see Superman on the way back down the Strip.