It’s fair to say that Steven Page’s first UK tour in a decade – including a show at the Wedgewood Rooms on Thursday night – has been a real success.
There were moments during the set which felt triumphant for the former Barenaked Ladies frontman and co-founder.
More than half of his two-hour set, for which he was joined by cellist Kevin Fox and guitarist Craig Northey, was dedicated to compositions he recorded before parting ways with that band.
Fox’s cello added an air of melancholy to the material, old and new, but without the slightly grating wackiness of the Barenaked Ladies to divert your attention it was clear just how talented Page is as a songwriter.
While there was plenty of self-deprecating stage banter and musical interludes, Page never let these punctuate the songs themselves.
Break Your Heart, I Live With It Every Day, and an astonishing version of Tonight is the Night I Fell Asleep at the Wheel showcased why Page’s current approach is delivering the definitive versions of these songs.
His voice has certainly lost none of its power, and overall this was a special show that was equal parts charming, funny, and heartfelt.