Gig review: Hue and Cry, O2 ABC, Glasgow

THE era when Hue and Cry could afford to lavish their songs with strings have, by singer Pat Kane’s own admission, long since passed.

Greg and Pat Kanes performance had the crowd on its feet. Picture: Contributed

Hue And Cry

O2 ABC, Glasgow

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Rating: ***

But that doesn’t mean the fraternal Coatbridge blue-eyed soul-pop duo can’t now and again revisit the “most amazing feeling” they experienced the first time they heard one of their compositions layered with violins and cellos back in their chart-hits heyday, as they did at this special one-off stripped-down performance together with the Glasgow String Quartet.

Opening with Looking for Linda, as promptly followed by Ordinary Angel, I Refuse and Violently, the set was principally drawn from the late 1980s purple patch when Hue and Cry released two top 10 albums and one top 10 single (the latter saved until near the end tonight). Despite the quite formal setup – the audience all seated, Pat Kane and his brother Greg (on piano and arrangements) looking sharp in matching grey suits – the mood was friendly and relaxed and provided an intimate forum for the kind of jazz-inflected, unashamedly sentimental songs that – for better or for worse – nobody really writes anymore.

A healthy smattering of Frank Sinatra covers from their new tribute album September Songs filled out the middle section, allowing Pat Kane to live out some Ol’ Blue Eyes fantasies by turning his treacly croon to the likes of Little Green Apples and I Wish I Were In Love Again. Before taking a couple of requests at the end, as rowdily roared out by a well-oiled Friday night audience, we got the Kanes’ biggest hit Labour of Love. A song which even when done in pared-down, semi-orchestral form can still get a crowd on its feet and dancing.

Seen on 26.09.15