Carol Grimes

11th August 2010 at Ronnie Scott's

Edward Randell

Carol Grimes used her first appearance at the club since Ronnie Scott’s death to look back over her career, as signposted by her changing London addresses from Bethnal Green to Westbourne Grove. Starting with Who Knows Where The Time Goes? by former drinking buddy Sandy Denny, her set was a warm and witty personal tour, demonstrating a knack for holding an audience’s attention that was hard-won in her early busking days.

Steps, a Bethnal Green song featuring a sensitive piano solo by Dorian Ford, demonstrated Grimes’ skill as a lyricist. It was a pair of contrasting Oscar Brown Jr. tunes, though, that provided the centrepiece and highlight of the set. But I Was Cool was as fabulously full-throated and profane (bolstered by Annie Whitehead’s trombone) as A Tree And Me was contemplative. Grimes finished by bringing us up to date with songs from her Deptford “poor woman’s penthouse”: Chagall-inspired waltz The Dance, and The Weatherman, a blues with lyrics by poet John Shaw. Another Shaw (Ian) was among the admirers who dropped in to witness her unvarnished soulfulness.