Graham Nash at the Glass House, Gateshead
Graham Nash warmly greeted the audience, ‘Gateshead, we’ve got a lot of good music for you - it will be a good night for sure.” The concert was part of the ‘Sixty Years of Songs and Stories’ tour. So, I expected material from Nash’s early days in the 1960s with the Hollies, late sixties and early seventies ‘hippy era’ material with Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young plus other material from over the decades and Nash’s latest album Now.
I was surprised to see only 3 musicians on stage, expecting a band or Graham Nash solo. Graham Nash stood centre stage in front of an upright piano, keyboard player Todd Caldwell sat behind a Hammond B3 to his left, and to his right Shane Fontayne. on guitars. Over the 2 set concert Nash mainly played acoustic guitar, but regularly sat down to play the piano, lead guitarist Fontayne played an array of acoustic and electric guitars, Caldwell mainly played the Hammond B3 and occasionally played a vintage electric piano and a synth. Nash’s voice sounded very much like it always has, it certainly hasn’t shown any deterioration over 81 years. Accompanying harmonies were a key element of the trio’s sound, the audience was regularly invited to sing along.
Nash’s songwriting is centred around peace, love and understanding, he’s certainly a glass half full - at the very least, sort of bloke. His music is gentle, the songs are unambiguous and the patter between songs not only adds context, but also entertains. Nash referenced the many musicians’ he worked with over his long career, adding context to his songs. He’s not a musician stuck in the past, he referenced the earthquake in Morocco, sharing with the audience that he questioned whether to play Marrakesh Express in the context of the destruction, he cited Putin and the Ukraine before playing Military Madness. He finished with Teach Your Children, which rounded the evening off perfectly. Nash and his supporting musicians delivered on the promise, it was a great night.