CONCERT REVIEW : Simply Red, The OVO Hydro, Glasgow 11th February 2022

SIMPLY RED TURN BACK THE YEARS TO THRILL THE GLASGOW CROWD

After a call off or two due to the pandemic, the Simply Red bandwagon finally rolled into Glasgow on Friday evening for a greatest hits show spanning a period nigh on 40 years and one that could easily have lasted until the wee early hours of Saturday, such is the greatness of the band’s back catalogue. 

‘We’ve made it, we’re here!!!’ yells frontman Mick Hucknall, his appearance on the Glasgow stage see’s thousands of arms in the air as his band burst into life for the opening bars 2004’s Home, and the start of a 21-track show crammed into two hours, full of hits and top tunes.  So Not Over You and Never Never Love are appetisers, set to whet the whistle for the evening ahead, which also provides more than enough evidence that Hucknall has lost none of his talent and musical ability during his hiatus of 5 years or so away from touring and playing live.  He may finally be showing signs of age, but the vocals are still sublime, the power in the voice still shattering, showcased perfectly in the cover of Stylistics You Make Me Feel Brand New, not a beat missed or a note strained to reach.  Faultless.

Early hit Holding Back The Years is magical, A New Flame’s Latin feel gets the front row on their feet, and Your Mirror sees couples throughout the crowd in warming embraces, songs such as this by the band perfect for such a romantic occasion.  Thrill Me and Its Only Love keep the show flowing, as more and more are on their feet before the 1991 top ten smash Stars saw everyone dancing in the aisles.  Their only UK number one single Fairground closed the first act, as the band left the stage for a short break before returning for two encores.

Something Got Me Started and Aint That A Lot of Love keep the rhythm and tempo up before the second encore takes things to another level with the 1985 debut single Money’s Too Tight To Mention.  Lighters in the air for tonight’s closer, a cover of the Harold Melvin classic If You Don’t Know Me By Now slowed things right down for the ultimate singalong to end all singalongs.  The band left the stage to a rapturous applause.

There are many adjectives in the Oxford English Dictionary to describe a talented singer, a songsmith or crooner.  But they could easily rip a few pages out the book by replacing all those descriptions with the words Mick Hucknall.  The guy oozes class, his talent is unquestionable and the music is phenomenally good.  Singing live in concert shows the man at his brilliant best, a master of his craft and easily up there with the best soul singers this country has ever produced.  Simply put, Simply Red are simply fabulous.

Review and Photographys by Stephen Wilson