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Ian Waller enjoys a true music icon showing that he can still hit the high notes at 81 years of age

Graham Nash might be knocking on a bit – 81 years old, so he tells is – but he looks good, plays well and still has a fantastic voice. The result is a wonderful evening of fabulous songs, great stories and precious nostalgia from one of the world’s most respected song writers.

Graham Nash was, of course, one third of 1960’s supergroup Crosby, Stills and Nash, as well as a founding member of The Hollies, songwriter, collaborator and friend to some of the biggest names of the time, including Neal Young and Joni Mitchell, political activist and photographer.

For this night at The Forum, it was a chance for Nash to run through some of the best known songs of his 60+ years career, including some CSN and Hollies, material from his new album and a handful of well picked covers too.

Of course, it wasn’t that long ago that the thought of an 80 year old rocker might have been greeted with howls of derision and amusement. Surely it’s time that they knocked it on the head. The thing, with the likes of Nash, the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney and a good few others challenging this perceived wisdom, it looks like we might have the chance for a few more farewell tours part 2 yet.

And if the rest of them are anything like as good as Nash, bring them on. With a backing band of James Raymond (keyboards) and Shane Fontayne (guitar) – both wonderful musicians adding the essential vocal harmonies that underpins so many or Nash’s best knows songs – Nash is in great voice and form. Right from the start we’re back to the time of The Hollies with their 1966 hit Bus Stop and a shout out to Hollies’ singer Allan Clark, who, we are told, has recently re-found his voice and has a new album coming out.

From here it’s a hugely enjoyable stroll through a back catologue combined with songs from Nash’s new album Now. So yes, there’s plenty of CSN including Marrakest Express, which dedicates to the people of Morocco, as well as Cathedral, Our House and, of course, Teach Your Children.

There’s also a great cover of one of The Beatles best with A Day In The Life, a nod to Neal Young with Long May You Run and even a smattering of Buddy Holly.

Throughout the performances are strong, both instrumentally and vocally, backed up with storytelling and anecdotes from a lengthy career, including tribute to Crosby, Stills and Young, and former lover Ms Mitchell. Plus – and you don’t always get to say this with older performers – the new stuff was pretty decent too, with A Better Life pleading for us all to do our bit to leave a better planet for our kids.

Total credit to the team at The Forum for securing this sold-out booking – it was a great night with several standing ovations thoroughly deserved for the band. To see which gigs are coming up next, go to