It’s 25 years now since I was lucky enough to see Johnny Cash perform at Portsmouth Guildhall.
A quarter-of-a-century on, it was great to hear the venue resound to the sometime happy, sometime sad, always unique sound of this musical icon.
The Man in Black himself has of course long since left us, but lifelong fan Clive John is no mean master at recreating (rather than reinventing) his idol’s celebrated songs.
He’s a tad cleaner-cut in both appearance and vocal intonation than the great man himself but this does not detract from the power and sheer exuberance of the music he and his band present.
Those alongside him on stage at the Guildhall included Amanda Stone, whose voice was both melodic and spot-on guttural as she took the part of June Carter.
The two came together for the first time in the show early on with fiery and feisty Jackson, and many of the best moments of the night were those when this on-stage ‘husband and wife’ duetted with just the right mix of tension and respect.
All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable evening right from the Folsom Prison Blues opener to the Ring of Fire finale. By that time, the audience - encouraged in true Cash style to breaks the rules and stand - were on their feet, singing along and loving every moment of it. Just like the good old days...