Marti Pellow may be a ripe cheesemonger of a performer, but he was spot on in his sometimes sentimental assessment of Wet Wet Wet’s career when he said they’d always known the value of a good song.
Wet Wet Wet ****
Edinburgh Castle Esplanade
The Clydebank band’s Edinburgh Castle set, celebrating the 30th birthday of their debut album, Popped In Souled Out, was stuffed with good songs, enough to paper over the cracks in his slightly forced vocal performance, and hand over to the audience for a pitch-perfect extended sing-along to Goodnight Girl.
The show was frontloaded with blue-eyed soul gems from that confident debut: Wishing I Was Lucky, the sound of 1980s aspiration as working class lads channelled their love of classic Philly soul in the hopes of a better life; Sweet Little Mystery, so sunny that Pellow had to wear his most impenetrable shades; Angel Eyes with the glorious uplifting blast of the horn section offsetting the synthesized disco strings; and I Can Give You Everything, stamped with a fine fuzz guitar solo from long-standing sideman Graeme Duffin.
The remainder of the set demonstrated that their nose for a song has never deserted them, from southern soul slow jam This Time to the funky pop of new track Love Worz, and that they can handle themselves on rockier numbers such as the pacey Run.
In fact, despite providing the biggest hits of their career, their covers of With A Little Help From My Friends and a pipe band-embellished Love Is All Around paled in comparison to their enduring originals.