Sunday 11th February 2018, The Live Room, Saltaire. Probably the slickest and most polished Sam Baker show I have seen to date. Sam was accompanied by Grammy nominated master percussionist Mike Meadows (Willie Nelson, Shawn Colvin & many more bands). By the end of the show you could appreciate the Grammy nomination.
During the show Sam transported the rapt audience through a wide range of emotions with his own very sparse but oh so rich individual style of looking at the world and telling the stories he has seen there. The most intense point must have been the introduction to ‘Broken Fingers’, the story of the terrorist bomb exploding and killing a German family and severely injuring Sam on a train to Machu Picchu. I cannot recall another show in The Live Room creating a mood quite like that number created last night, the song details Sam’s remembrance of the young German boy who lost his life that day and contains the very harrowing lines (lyrics Sam Baker 2007)
‘Forget his face? Of course I don’t, Etched like a crystal vase, These broken fingers, some things don’t heal, I can’t wake up from a dream when the dream is real…’
Continuing the dream references he then performed ‘Angels’, dedicated to the 99% of the world’s population that are intrinsically ‘good’, again a wonderful line ‘Everyone is at the mercy of another’s dream’ (Sam Baker 2004).
However, the mood was by no means all sombre, Sam’s shows and songs always have a great deal of humour (‘Isn’t Love Great’), poignancy (‘Waves’) and interaction with the audience, last night was no exception, it was superbly paced both musically and emotionally. A wonderful night greatly enjoyed by a very attentive, appreciative and respectful audience.
Review and photos by Keith Belcher