Liquid Room, Edinburgh
It’s billed as the “greatest hits” tour, and their recorded history meant they could fit the lot into 90 minutes, with plenty of room for a few lesser-known tracks and new pieces of work besides, yet none of it was filler. Singer James Walsh described Blood as a “brand new song” and Lullaby (released 15 years ago) as a “really old song”, and the contrast suggested their style hasn’t shifted far in the interim. A quintet, they play sweeping, emotional indie-rockers led by big guitars and keyboard, and Walsh’s delicate but expansive voice is the deal-breaker, a sugary blend of impressive power and winsome heartache in the vein of Coldplay’s Chris Martin or The Verve’s Richard Ashcroft. The Wigan-founded group were received with warmth, but it was those greatest hits which sealed a successful and surprisingly seasonalshow, from the opening Poor Misguided Fool and the plaintive Alcoholic to the strident Silence is Easy and Four to the Floor. A stripped-back take on Slade’s Merry Xmas Everybody and the much-needed sentiment of the closing Good Souls – that fine people are a remedy for tough times – were especially welcome.