Hue & Cry with Special Guest Olly Flavell

Wednesday 1st November 2017

Islington Assembly Hall, Islington, London, United Kingdom

Supplied By PR

Seeing Hue & Cry in a live performance underlines many things, not least the high quality of their new album material. The combination of one brother’s keyboard skills and occasional guitar forays and vocals and his sibling’s lead singing produces a strong and supple platform for their accompanying musicians to add their emphases and their many dazzling solo’s. The variety of styles the Kanes can present with definition and class is quite staggering and this particular show ranges easily across the sound spectrum. Yes, they can do beautiful and restful – however the social conscience the pair maintain seeps into many of their better compositions. Hue & Cry have a gentle strength that adapts to dreamlike sequences but also the edgy dynamic soundscape that some of their songs spit out. Ever tuneful, the group benefits from a warm sound balance and judicious use of reverbs. Longterm fans and the curious enjoyed at Islington a set with bite and grace and some dry stage patter that would not have disgraced the late Leonard Cohen. The band lineup includes a guitarist with a toppy Curtis Mayfield drive, a deft bass player with subterranean counterpoints as part of his armoury, a first-class drummer and a sax player and trumpeter given plenty of room to add to the thrill of the show – spontaneous applause for their efforts added to the vibe of the show and seem to please Pat no end. This is confidence untainted by cockiness.

Kicking off with ‘I Refuse’ the first single from their 1987 debut album it was a great soul opener with the horn section giving it a real punch. They approached ‘Ordinary Angel’ just like their comtempories, Paul Young, The Christians and many others by letting the lyrics of the song shine through.

“This next song is a happy song about economic social collapse” lead vocalist Pat Kane chuckled before leading us into ‘Heading For A Fall’. But it was the heart-warming ‘Let Her Go’ taken from their new record ‘Pocketful of Stones’ as Pat’s daughter Eleanor Kane duetted with her father thus providing one of the highlights of the evening.

The multi-instrumentalism of this tight live band allows the audience to hear everything from haunting bass to summery flute and silvery trumpet to ELO univibe guitar, depending on the number.

‘It Happened Here’ (also from the new album) was written about the Scottish referendum and the disenfranchised masses. Although it is clear that they are proud of their Scottish roots and heritage, they were classy enough to not turn the show into a statement from the soapbox.

Just quickly, I have to give a well-deserved mention to singer-songwriter Olly Flavell from Manchester who opened the evening with a solo acoustic set. ‘A Spark Inside’ showcased his clear contemporary pop vocals and they were similar to friend of JLTT Ben Montague (GS – Having chatted to Olly after his performance he told me that he too knows Ben – small world!) If this was to be done by Shawn Mendes this would be a massive hit.

He was incredibly warm with the audience as he explained that he wrote and performed the song ‘I’ll Take You’ for his brother’s wedding in September this year. In addition, he has written songs for several artists most notably Little Mix. You can read all about him on his Facebook page here: http://bit.ly/2ilKuyB

Having picked choice cuts from most of their albums and included their radio hits it is hard to fault the act’s setlist choices. I would have come along just for Stars Crash Down which had melody bite and an ache that stays in the mind. Masterful stuff.

Pete & Glenn Sargeant



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(Thanks to Asher and all at Republic)

Hue & Cry’s new studio album ‘Pocketful Of Stones’ is out now on Blairhill Records/Absolute.

For  tickets and more information visit their official website here: http://bit.ly/2ilO1Nc

In addition, Hue & Cry will be embarking on an Autumn 2017 headline Scottish Tour followed by headline Irish shows in March 2018 and then a co-headline UK tour with The Christians in May 2018. All of the dates are listed below:

Hue & Cry

Friday 17th November 2017 – Fat Sam’s, Dundee, Scotland

Saturday 18th November 2017 – Tivoli Theatre, Aberdeen, Scotland

Sunday 19th  November 2017 – Beacon Arts Centre, Greenock, Scotland

Thursday 23rd November 2017 – (Special Guests For The Average White Band),  Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow, Scotland

Friday 24th November 2017 – Liquid Room, Edinburgh, Scotland

Saturday 25th November  2017 – Town House, Hamilton, Scotland

Friday 2nd March 2018 –  Empire Music Hall, Belfast, Northern Ireland

Saturday 3rd March 2018 – Whelans, Dublin, Ireland

Friday 18th May 2018 –  (Co-Headline with The Christians) William Aston Hall, Wrexham, United Kingdom

Saturday 19th May 2018 – (Co-Headline with The Christians) LiVE, Preston, United Kingdom

Sunday 20th May 2018 –  (Co-Headline with The Christians) Oakengates Theatre, Telford, United Kingdom

Friday 25th May 2018 –  (Co-Headline with The Christians) Warehouse 23, Wakefield, United Kingdom

Saturday 26th May  2018 – (Co-Headline with The Christians) Manchester Academy, Mnachester, United Kingdom

Sunday 27th May 2018 –  (Co-Headline with The Christians) ULU, London, United Kingdom