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Hue And Cry

Sands Venue, Blackpool

If brothers Pat and Greg Kane had made this launch date of their Hot Wire Stripped tour any more intimate they would have had to invite the appreciative audience back home for supper.

The soul-pop pioneers responsible for such gems as 80s hits Looking For Linda and Labour Of Love are boldly going just where they want to (they moved onto Darwen Library the night after Blackpool) to promote their latest album, Hot Wire. And if that means switching things around at the last minute then so be it.

The “Stripped” element of their tour will be dropped for the closing concert when they add a full band for the night but for the launch date in Sands Venue they decided to hone things down even further than just the two of them and some electronic backing.

Having spotted what Greg described as the room’s “Yamaha-I-Can’t-Afford-It” grand piano the set was rapidly adjusted to become a fully acoustic lounge lizard presentation spanning a recording career which started in 1986 and is still going strong.

Pat’s is still one of the most distinctive voices around and he clearly relished the Venue’s top dollar sound system.

Each number had its tale to tell – from “the saddest song ever written” (Just Say You Love Me) through to the telling Venus Needs Her Chocolate and perfectly delivered cover versions of material by the likes of Kate Bush and Paolo Nuttini.

There was even room to their “socialist anthem” Hand And Heart and a tribute to Glasgow. But the stunner came with Pat’s unaccompanied tribute the Frank Sinatra which Old Blue Eyes himself would have been proud to hear – ending a perfect night in a perfect setting.

Robin Duke