Alerted to this gig by the SongKick app, I bagged four tickets knowing that we would be able to find people to take the other two especially as Mary is working for a South African company - Sixto Rodriguez is a cultural phenomenon in that country.
We had drinks and bar snacks (you couldn't call it a meal) in the Berry Bros. & Rudd No 3 Bar. An atmospheric subterranean feel, comfy sofas and subdued lighting with a decent wine list including the handy 375 ml carafe option but don't order the cocktails if you are in a hurry.
We got to our seats in time to see the whole of the support act. Something I like to do partly because I've paid for it and and partly because I like to be surprised by some unknown performer that I might really like. In this case it was Charlie Cunningham a solo guitarist. He was good, playing songs off his forthcoming EP one of which had a real tang of classical Spanish guitar. He was a little in awe both of playing in the Royal Albert Hall and of supporting Rodriguez.
Then the main man came on to tumultuous applause, helped on by a couple of assistants. He was well wrapped up and over the course of the first few tracks stripped off three layers until he was down to a black singlet which caused no little excitement amongst some members of the audience. You could tell much of his life was spent doing manual work, he had the biceps to prove it.
He mostly sang songs from Cold Fact including "I Wonder" and "Sugar Man", What surprised me was him doing several cover versions including "Somebody to Love" by Jefferson Airplane. Hopefully someone will put up the full set list on www.setlist.fm. As often I didn't take a camera but fortunately the RAH posted some good quality photos on their blog.
The crowd were in adoring mood with many shouts of "We love you!" Upon hearing calls proclaiming him a 'legend', Sixto modestly responded: "I want everyone here tonight to know that I want to be treated like an ordinary legend".
Another great evening and made all the more enjoyable by knowing his back story courtesy of the award winning documentary Searching for Sugar Man.