LOVE AND MONEY, Glasgow SECC – 4th December, 2011
Glasgow’s Thin White Duke strode onto the stage bedecked in a sharp suit and black shades, looking every inch like the Rock God he mockingly likes to portray.
An expectant, almost full to capacity crowd, held its breath and the first notes of Axis of Love got us underway. What then followed was a run through a selection of tracks from Dogs in the Traffic, and Strange Kind of Love with one or two new songs thrown in for good measure.
Stand out songs of the first part of the night’s show were, as always, the poignant Walk The Last Mile, the self-indulgent brilliance of Shape of Things to Come, the Celtic sound of Whisky Dream, and then the 2 dancers (or is that chancers?) who ran down to the front of the stage to cut some moves to Looking for Angeline. James G noted that they reminded him of dance group “Diversity”, his bone dry wit as sharp as ever.
An apt rendition of Winter brought the first half of the night to a close, and a hasty retreat to the bar was in order before the promise of a more upbeat second half. Papa Death started off part 2 of the night, an ironically uplifting track, and James continued with his almost stand-up like banter, encouraging us to buy slim-fit Love and Money t-shirts of which he said maybe only 8% of the crowd could actually fit into! A better option was the incontinence pants he said he was personally sporting, sadly a glimpse of said under garments was politely refused .
So back to the music… a new song - I Never Touched Her - was a real highlight, quickly followed by a beautifully sung Lips Like Ether and You’re Not the Only One with Monica Queen, providing the sandwich for another Love and Money “dance” track, Last Ship on the River.
Up Escalator was the catalyst for everyone in the auditorium to get on their feet for the rest of the night, with, as James said, some pretty dodgy dad dancing in evidence. Jocelyn Square was up next and there was now a clear sense of relief from James that he had “at last” got us on our feet
“It was never in doubt Jimmy boy! ”
The old favourites just kept coming and a fantastic rendition of Hallelujah Man brought the house down as nostalgic appreciation filled the room but also the fact that these guys have lost none of their enthusiasm or skill in the intervening years since they first recorded these songs. A standing ovation followed at the end of Hallelujah Man and the cheering and clapping never abated until the band walked back on again for a never to be forgotten encore of firstly You’re Beautiful from their debut album All You Need Is, then the last song of the night – one which could be re-released right now and still work – the soul funk work out of Candybar Express. And so it was over, one of Glasgow’s finest talents had triumphed again. A faultless performance full of charm (yes James does charm too!) wit, nostalgia (did I mention this already) and most importantly, brilliant music. 22 songs were played and we could have listened to 22 more, way into the wee small hours if it were possible. We await a new album in the Spring of 2012. I never thought I’d be saying that when I bought the first album, over 25 years ago. I’m so glad I am.