The format is a winner and owes its success to the selected line-up and knowledge of the interviewers.
The Scottish performer opened the show with a song and, as a seasoned raconteur, was able to weave a story into his song performed live with his own guitar accompaniment. He sang Al Jolson’s Anniversary Song, the best-selling sheet music when he was born in 1947, while delivering his best Leonard Cohen delivery. Immediately we were celebrating a 70th birthday and the interview flowed around this exploring musical influences such as Bob Dylan. This was further discussed at the audience Q&A section where Barbara Dickson, who has her own In Conversation slot, asked about the importance of American folk singer, Pete Seeger.
Noakes has a wealth of musical knowledge from his 50-year career and was able to reflect on his upbringing and forming Stealers Wheel with the late Gerry Rafferty as the great folk explosion happened in the UK. He had great praise for Celtic Connections, the Glasgow music festival held in January each year, and described his love of Gibson guitars naming the models in his growing collection. The flow of the show was relaxed and I got the impression the audience were fans and they were just glad to see the artist up close.
The format is a winner and owes its success to the selected line-up and knowledge of the interviewers. I understand most of the shows will feature journalist Graham Spiers so the standards are expected to be high. The show closed, in this case, with a live performance from Noakes’ current release The Treatment Tapes written and recorded during his recent cancer trauma and lapped up by his adoring fans.