Simply Red in Concert
Simply Red I saw in the 90s at Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre. It’s a large venue but on this occasion the stage was in the centre of the hall, and formed a long shallow ‘S’ shape with a performing area at each end. It was hard to know at which end the band would actually play, but when the concert started I realized I’d got lucky – the band was near the end where I was standing. However, halfway through the show the band switched to the other end of the ‘S’, where they had an identical set up, apart from the keyboard, which I remember being slickly carried from one end to the other.
Throughout the show Mick Hucknall, Simply Red’s lead singer, would frequently pass from one stage to the other, sometimes walking, sometimes skipping, and even running, but never allowing his movement to impair his vocals.
The band sounded very much like their records, which is a compliment to both the musicians and the sound engineers. Of course they could have been lip-syncing (miming), but I doubt it.
Although not a jazz group some of their songs contain short, but inspiring, jazz solos. The soprano saxophone solo at the end of Enough, from their 1989 album ‘A New Flame’, is a prime example.