THE years have been kind to Daryl Hall & John Oates, who stood before a wildly appreciative audience looking much as they did in their 80s heyday, still luxuriant of hair and clearly expecting their fellow musicians to make a similar level of effort with the conditioning products.
Daryl Hall & John Oates
Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow
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Hall’s voice was not in quite such silky shape, his singing style being more clipped and guttural than the blue-eyed soul overtures of old. But, for all the production gloss lavished on the original recordings, the duo’s memorable songs proved surprisingly durable as they fired straight into their hits Maneater and Out Of Touch, with Charles “Mr Casual” DeChant – silver-grey of suit and beard – providing studio quality saxophony.
They got down to the 80s AOR nitty gritty with Say It Isn’t So but it was their Philly soul-indebted material such as It’s Uncanny which really hit the sweet spot, to approving whoops from an audience straining in their seats for the permission to move. “You’ve got to be funky at least once a night,” declared Hall, ushering in a naturally soulful segment of the set, including early gems Las Vegas Turnaround and the killer smooth soul ache of She’s Gone.
The band arrangements occasionally walked the line between testifying and cheesy, blissful backing vocals contrasting with pained, distended guitar solos, while never threatening the overall entertainment balance of a set which breezed to an enjoyable conclusion with Rich Girl, Kiss On My List and Private Eyes.