Review: The Johnny Cash Roadshow at Ipswich Corn Exchange on Friday, September 30

Clive John as Johnny Cash in The Johnny Cash Roadshow.

Clive John as Johnny Cash in The Johnny Cash Roadshow. - Credit: submitted

It was a foot-tapping and hip-swaying journey back in time, writes Gemma Mitchell.

The Johnny Cash Roadshow brought hundreds of reminiscent fans to the Corn Exchange in Ipswich on Friday night offering a display of Cash’s best and well-loved hits.

Frontman Clive John was convincing in his role of the late legend with the same deep bassy voice, acoustic guitar, iconic black suit and slicked back pompadour.

Backed up by a three-piece band, the show featured music from Cash’s 47-year career, from 1955 to 2002, kicking off with country classic Folsom Prison Blues.

The audience was treated to a few old favourites before Cash’s “formidable” wife and co-performer June Carter, played by Amanda Stone, was introduced on stage for an upbeat rendition of Jackson.

In 1950s attire Stone was also compelling in her impersonation of the talented Carter, even bringing out the Autoharp for a solo number.

It was in every sense a tribute to and celebration of Cash, with a slideshow of special photographs running in the background and facts about his life shared during the show.

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There was even a nod to Cash’s long-running back-up act, The Statler Brothers, as the bassist, guitarist and drummer dropped their instruments to join John in a barbershop-quartet-esque version of Flowers on the Wall.

The second half was taken up a notch as the group tapped into Cash’s rock and roll tracks, including One Piece at a Time, Get Rhythm and A Boy Named Sue.

Perhaps the most impressive moment was during Orange Blossom Special when John showed off his incredible skills on the harmonica.

Despite being a tribute show, the musicians still made it their own by interacting with spectators between songs with jokes and stories they have acquired during the roadshow’s 11-year history.

The night ended with a sequence of crowd-pleasers: I’ve Been Everywhere, Ghost Riders in the Sky, The Next Time I’m in Town, and, bringing everyone to their feet, Ring of Fire.

A must-see for any hardcore Cash lovers looking for a sing-along.

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