As Mick Hucknall strode onto stage, resplendent in his immaculately tailored light suit, it was easy to forget that we were witnessing the end of an era – he looked every bit the youthful crowd-pleaser from earlier days. The crowd showed modest support for Valeriya, who put a seamless – if, perhaps, at times rather uninspired and lacklustre – performance, but it was obvious who 12,000 strong had showed up to see. The roar was deafening before he’d even sung a note – but when Simply Red opened with It’s Only Love it felt like the roof might come off.
Over the course of the night we were treated to a cavalcade of hits, and they were lapped up by an eager audience – you got the impression that if Mick left the building the crowd would happily carry on the concert through to its final a-capella. The band were superb – eyes closed as they let the music flow through them. For a concert with so many well-known hits it was impressive that the guys were happy to throw in the occasional novelties; the potential disappointment of just hearing the songs played through as they were recorded was definitely avoided.
A good show, made great by a bouncing and bubbly crowd that were determined to get their money’s worth, this was a night to remember.
Review – Terra Duff
Photos – Keith West