The Sage, Gateshead
MAKING the move from minor to major star can be a tricky business.
Thankfully, Canadian singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith has the talent to satisfy old and and new fans.
Following the most successful album of his career - this year's Long Player Late Bloomer - and being the subject of an acclaimed documentary, Sexsmith is finally playing to big audiences.
But although he played a blinder at The Sage, there were signs that making that transition is still a work in progress.
Fancy stage lights and billowing dry ice were unnecessary showbusiness window dressing and it wasn't until My Heart Talking and Believe It When I See It that the show really took off.
A brilliant short story writer in song, the attractively awkward Canadian treated us to Strawberry Blonde - packing a lifetime into a few verses - and even moved to the piano for a haunting version of There's a Rhythm, from his 1995 debut.
Digging out gems from throughout his 16-year album career, Sexsmith shone on old and new material, with Seem To Recall from 1999's Whereabouts, Gold In Them Hills from 2002's Cobblestone Railway and Nowadays and Every Time I Follow from his latest offering proving that he never lets the songwriting quality control slip, no matter how many people are listening.