Paul Young celebrates 35 years since the release of 'No Parlez' at the Cambridge Corn Exchange
The Luton-born soul singer released his debut album back in 1983 and enthusiastic fans at the venue revelled in helping him mark the occasion.
Following his six-piece band – which included two energetic female backing singers – onto the stage, the star came out, on Monday, October 1 – looking good for his 62 years – to a raptuous reception.
Behind Your Smile, a track from 1983 but not included on No Parlez, came first. It was an assured and spirited performance, a clear sign that Young was intending to enjoy himself.
He then delved into No Parlez, delivering one of its standout tracks – Love of the Common People – with aplomb. “You’re thinking, ‘That can’t be right!’,” he said of the fact that No Parlez was released 35 years ago, “but unfortunately it is.”
“This is where it all began,” he said ahead of Wherever I Lay My Hat (That’s My Home), his first and only UK chart-topper. Young danced and moved around with supreme confidence, displaying a commanding stage presence and playfully interacting with members of his band.
He talked quite a lot between songs, but never went on too long, and the crowd loved it.
Come Back and Stay was another highlight from No Parlez, although I have to say that I didn’t enjoy the record’s less familiar material quite as much as the hits – with the exception of Tender Trap and Sex.
“A lot of the songs on the album were about women,” he joked. “I was young, that’s my excuse.”
It was also wonderful to hear songs from later in his career, like Senza una donna (Without a Woman), I’m Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down and Everytime You Go Away, which was saved until the end.
Even a newer song – Slipped, Tripped and Fell in Love, off 2016’s Good Thing – went down very well.
The voice may not be quite as effortlessly smooth as it once was, but Paul Young certainly can’t be faulted for sheer passion and effort – and it was a joy to see him perform and hear those timeless classics again.