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Simply Red

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Liverpool Echo Arena

July 25, 2009

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by yesyor


Simply Red Greatest Hits 2009 Tour - Review


I have just this minute returned from watching Simply Red – Greatest Hits tour in Liverpool Echo Arena. I am not the sort who would usually write a review – however, my disappointment of this production forces pen to paper (so to speak).


Apart form the fact that Mick Hucknall seemed to be still in the dressing room for the first two or three numbers – seemingly labouring to remember the lyrics, like someone seriously jet lagged (maybe?); the over-riding and for me lasting impression of this ‘final, farewell’ tour is that of a cheap production. Lets not understate it, Mick and what ever format of Simply Red he chooses to assemble are World Mega Stars in the literal sense. Their official Web Site indeed states: -
”For a band with all-time worldwide sales of over 50 million and 30 top 40 UK hits to their credit – in addition to having played over a 1000 concerts to more then 10 million people – Simply Red are set to create more records with their Greatest Hits and the 2009 world tour”.


This, and the fantastic televised concert in the Italian amphitheatre a couple of years ago, when a full string orchestra and an energetic backing group accompanied them, seduced me into resolving not to miss the next local outing of this unique experience.


Well I’m sorry Mick but as a fellow Mancunian of a certain age, I think I am at liberty to say that either you have sold out – and this a cynical effort to bolster the coffers or you are surrounded by sycophants. I prefer to think that it’s the latter and that nobody had the guts to tell you that this looked like a High School Musical. Where do I begin? We could forgive the slow start – no problem, but hey Mick! Where the hell are you? The undoubted $1000 suit blended perfectly with the backing curtains, so the net effect was that of a white face and hands strutting their stuff. That’s when the bizarre strobe lighting at the rear of the stage, didn’t blind the audience during every high note! The - ‘Xmas School Play’ - red and blue spots constantly dimming up and down, only exacerbated this, like the dimmer switch had just been invented!


I realise that ‘real’ artists prefer not to confuse the product with gloss, but honestly this is 2009 and I think that a couple of big screens, is not a sell out to ‘keeping it real’, it’s just a courtesy to the thousands of loyal fans, who invest their hard earned wages in a ‘professional’ performer. Did I mention the wired microphone? Yes, music aficionados they are not extinct, in fact the last survivor of the species is alive and kicking in the Simply Red Tour truck. Unbelievable this one! Now I realise that Mick is a Singer (Song Writer) and that he will never - (although he has been tempted), dance around the stage; and the ‘High School’ set only gave a 20 metre radii, but this is the 21st century for goodness sake!! (Mick if you need a wireless microphone, please get in touch). I am not advocating that he does a Barry Manilow, white suit and all, but in this day and age the punters expectations have surely been raised by evolution.


Make no mistake; I am still a big fan.


Mick has still got the same set of great pipes that he had 25 years ago.


Yes, the boy can still blow!


In the end that’s what carries him - and you through.


But why do I feel compelled to write this???


Ever so slightly, disappointment. - Shame.


Yesyor in Manchester UK.


Fan for 25 years.


July 2009



This review is the subjective opinion of the individual reviewer and not of ConcertBuzz

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Rating: 2.2/5 (50 votes cast)

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