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Review: Books, Theatre, Movies, Albums & Gigs.

Mick Hucknall

Tribute To Bobby Tour
Liverpool Summer Pops

Liverpool Echo Arena
July 1st, 2008

Tribute To Bobby album cover


Mick Hucknall is, without doubt, one of the finest singers to have been produced in this country over the past twenty or so years. His rich vocals that made the popularity of Simply Red what it was is rich and vibrant, with a penchant of cheekiness that, have at times, boarded on arrogance that all successful bands and artists must have and never hindered the skill behind the bravado.

 

Now Mick Hucknall is back as a solo artist and his tribute show to the great Blues artist, Bobby “Blue” Bland, is quite simply sensational.

Full of mixed rhythms and harmonies, the show begins with a brief documentary film detailing Bland’s work with contributions from the likes of B B King, before Hucknall takes the stage to sing Cry, Cry, Cry, I Wouldn’t Treat A Dog The Way You Treated Me and I’m Too Far Gone (To Turn Around).

After this, Hucknall asked the crowd – a disappointing quarter of capacity at best, which resulted in some echoing at The Echo – who had heard of Bland’s work and received an expected answer of around 10 people. Another point is that Bland’s music is best suited to dingy, smoke filled bars rather than vast state-of-the-art arenas and Hucknall did dtste he was surprised at the venue when he arrived, expecting the much smaller Marquee the Pops used to be held in.

Surely the name – The Echo ARENA – had to be a giveaway and surely somewhere like the Academy or The Cavern would have suited the set better?

 Still, undaunted, the singer plugged away and, after around eight or so songs, the audience began to realise that Fairground, Holding Back The Years and Money’s Too Tight To Mention would not be making an appearance and so got into what was being laid out before them … or at least those who stayed did.

Surely, the title of the gig – A Tribute To Bobby – might have been a giveaway in this respect?

Those who left early missed a treat, with stomping versions of Home Loan Blues, Poverty and Buddy’s Groove closing the show proper, with Further On Up The Road – a hit, too for Eric Clapton – Ain’t That Loving You and Lead Me On filling up the encore.

A lot of people may have been disappointed – or indeed stayed away – because this new project is not the usual for Hucknall and is a decidedly brave undertaking. Those who were disappointed and did stay away perhaps need to expand their horizons a little further and enjoy what’s on offer when it comes around because when all is said and done there was a lot on offer to enjoy tonight.

Review: Kristyna Myles - support act for Mick Hucknall.


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“Writing gets me away for a while' from this world and into one where I, alone, can make or
break the rules as I see fit.” - Chris High 2003.
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