Review Archive

‘To Each and Everyone Tour’ - Barbara Dickson at Union Chapel

(November 08, 2013)

Last night - 7 November - the spiritually rich and enthralling music venue that is Union Chapel in Union Chapel stageIslington radiated an even more intense atmosphere than usual. That’s because Barbara Dickson came to town with her band, Troy Donockley, Nick Holland, Russell Field and Brad Lang on the last stages of her ‘To Each and Everyone Tour’, and quite simply, took her eager audience on a journey to somewhere magical.

Primarily, this tour was built around her latest album ‘To Each and Everyone – the songs of Gerry Rafferty’ – a singularly beautiful collection of songs. However, as Barbara told FolkWords ahead of the tour: "The tour will include a whole range of material … some of my ‘hits’ from 1975 to ’85 period, naturally lots of melodic and beautiful Rafferty material from this album and some traditional songs from ‘Time and Tide’ and ‘Full Circle’ ... a repertoire of beautiful, meaningful songs that hopefully people will enjoy."

As part of last night’s experience I’d say that Barbara and the band can confidently state ‘objective fulfilled’. The experience ranged from pure folk, through inspired ballads to rocky pop and back again. Barbara Dickson Union ChapelThere were mystical tales of Orkney selkie-folk, songs from Blood Brothers and Evita, slices of Lennon and McCartney, Ralph Vaughan Williams, George Harrison and of course Gerry Rafferty.

Barbara’s faultless delivery of her stripped back versions of Rafferty’s songs included the haunting honesty of ‘Family Tree’ enhanced by Donockley’s stirring pipes, through a moody take on ‘Wise As A Serpent’, the emotive ‘Waters of Forgetfulness and a sublime arrangement of ‘Baker Street’. Fans of Barbara’s musical and pop years were not forgotten with the evocative ‘Another Suitcase in Another Hall’, ‘Caravan Song’ and a wonderfully re-arranged ‘Every Little Thing’.

Barbara's seductive voice and presence held her audience rapt. Her band were terrific - multi-instrumentalist Troy Donockley excelling on pipes, whistles and guitars, inspired keyboard playing from Nick Holland, Russell Field laying down an intricate drum barrage and Brad Lang, as ever, solid as a rock on bass.

The audience response to an exquisite evening was multiple standing ovations, cries for more and a definite reluctance to break the spell by leaving Union Chapel.

Barbara Dickson official site:

Union Chapel website:

Reviewer: Tim Carroll  

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