Clanger Culture Correspondents: The Carole King and James Taylor Story review

I was quite familiar with Carole King’s music following a period, a few years ago, when my husband played her music almost relentlessly.  Until that point, I had no idea she was responsible for such an impressive back catalogue.

I also have a vivid memory of stripping woodchip from our kitchen walls whilst listening to Carole on Radio 2.  She was in conversation with Michael Ball discussing her life story.  It’s no wonder that ‘Beautiful – The Carole King Musical’ has been such a success.

So, this is what brought our family to the Quarry Theatre on a pleasant, sunny Saturday evening in April for The Carole King & James Taylor Story. As is the case with many of our Culture Correspondents outings, this was new ground.  A ‘show-umentary’.  It was pretty much as it sounds.  A live music show, but with some facts and back story thrown in for good measure.

First up was Dan Clews who covered the James Taylor part of the story. Obviously talented, he played the guitar with ease and sang beautifully.  I didn’t appreciate quite how much like James Taylor he sounded until I listened to the genuine article when we got home.  I didn’t know a lot about James Taylor.  I knew more of his songs than I had realised, but the documentary footage was really enlightening.

Next was Phoebe Katis, who showcased the works of Carole King. Again, she was a master of her art, playing the piano effortlessly.  She had a great voice too.  Although I already knew quite a bit about Carole King, the format of the show kept it interesting.  You watched a snippet of film and then Phoebe and/or Dan would play a song.

Both Dan and Phoebe were very warm when chatting to the audience and created a great atmosphere.  We would definitely go to another show in this format, and the Quarry is such a lovely venue.  Especially when we are fortunate enough to get a bit of sunshine.

by Emma Barron


Editor of The Bedford Clanger, organiser behind BedPop, an events manager and a freelance copywriter


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