REVIEW: Ron Sexsmith, O2 Academy2

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A MOST unlikely success story, 47-year-old Canadian Ron Sexsmith has until recently been regarded as a top quality songwriter who sings a bit.

But that’s all changing with his new found higher profile and tonight’s healthy-sized mature crowd ensure he knows how highly they rate him with rousing cheers as he arrives on stage.

Promoting 12th studio album Long Player Late Bloomer, he plays the pick of the bunch, The Reason Why and Nowadays. But his songwriting skills have already gained him many high profile fans, such as Dylan, Elton John, McCartney, Elvis Costello and Rod Stewart, the latter covering Secret Heart, which Ron remarked was the main reason “I’m stood here now”.

The unassuming Sexsmith has an instant connection with his crowd, appreciative here of his self deprecating humour, such as alluding to himself as having a good face for radio and a documentary of the making of the new album as Shrek 3.

His voice takes a while to warm up but that goes unnoticed as he delves into a vast catalogue of songs, including Hard Bargain and the lovely Where My Love Shines.

Requests lead to him serenading a honeymoon couple with Bing Crosby’s Moonlight Becomes You, before playing set highlight Whatever It Takes, covered by Michael Buble, and a wonderful unaccompanied God Loves Everyone for an encore.

The Sexsmith bandwagon is gathering momentum with new song Believe It When I See It gaining national radio play. If he’s not careful, Mr Sexsmith might find his cult status a thing of the past.