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Hucknall hysteria hits The SSE Arena, Belfast

3rd December 2015

Last night Simply Red celebrated 30 years in show business at the SSE Arena, Belfast. I had the privilege of entertaining some special guests on behalf of SSE Airtricity in their box for the night, possibly the best seat in the house. For a show I wouldn’t have necessarily opted for myself I was pleasantly surprised by how much fun I had and of the number of songs I found myself singing along to.

The crowd was warmed up by Aussie diva, Natalie Imbruglia who was as stunning as ever. We were reminded of her many hits including Torn, Big Mistake and Wrong Impression, as well as a country adaptation of The Cure’s Friday I’m in Love which certainly got the crowd going. I was quickly on to iTunes to download her greatest hits.

The Arena soon amplified even more once the main act came onstage. Mick Hucknall was accompanied by six very fine musicians to make up Simply Red for the night. Brass, drums, keyboards and guitars, along with THAT voice, made for quite a show. He started with a few slower, more romantic songs to ease his adoring fans into the gig. These were met with the odd shriek of "I love you Mick!”, to which he kindly returned to the excitable fan. The second half brought a rumba version of Fairground, Money’s Too Tight and Stars, finishing with a full crowd’s rendition of If You Don’t Know Me By Now.

At first a casual observer might have commented that the crowd was quite conservative, but by the time Fairground came on the Arena was filled with Hucknall hysteria which found most of those who were seated on the floor up on their feet, down in front of the stage, reaching for the hand of Mick himself. A very enjoyable show which had us on our feet in the SSE Airtricity Box, waving at the stage ourselves! Simply superb.
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