Exhillarating, exuberant and entrancing in equal measure, our evening with Steve Harley will become a treasured memory.
Since the heyday of chart-toppers Cockney Rebel 36 years ago, Harley has ploughed his own musical furrow, crafting songs of aching beauty, subtle humour, wisdom and poignancy.
They are songs about life, love, loss and laughter.
This stripped-down acoustic set was the perfect showcase for his great talent, supported by two equally fine musicians, Barry Wickens on violin and guitar, and James Lascelles on keyboards, synths, and even zither.
The sound was lush and hypnotic, and instrumental solos, particularly from Wickens, were blissful.
Harley, once a ’70s heart-throb, has remarkable stage presence and charisma, and built a great rapport with the audience in the intimate surroundings of The Kings.
His distinctive voice, sometimes strident, sometimes tremulous and plaintive, was strong and captivating.
Cockney Rebel hits were woven into the set, so we were treated to Judy Teen and Mr Soft, alongside Best Years, Sebastian, and newer classics like Stranger Comes to Town.
The song everyone wanted to hear: Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me) was the perfect climax to an evening of musical excellence. Steve, I’m still smiling.