Daryl Hall And John Oates Live At Bournemouth International Centre July 17th July 2014 (with Longfellow)

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It’s the third time I’ve seen the lads, after seeing them support Fleetwood Mac at Wembley Stadium in the early 90’s, again at the BIC a year or so later. This was a Greatest Hits tour to a fairly-packed out audience, with a female-of-a-certain-age slight bias, and to be honest it wasn’t too different from 20-odd years ago, apart from Daryl’s penchant for changing the melody to some his own songs (like Maneater), which was slightly off-putting. As was the 10-minute-plus smooth-jazz-soul slowed version of I Can’t Go For That (I was really looking-forward to that killer bassline! Doh!).

To be fair though, they got a mid-concert standing ovation for She’s Gone, still the jewel in the crown of their great back-catalogue, and well deserved it’s a truly brilliant song, one young pretenders like Ed Sheeran could do with listening to and learning. I loved all of the 70’s stuff they did, and all of the 80’s tracks they did more straightforward versions of, like Kiss On My List and Private Eyes for the encore. It’s an indicator of how many hits they had that some great singles were omitted from the setlist. Shame! A great backing band, loved the sax, loved re-hearing some of the older tracks, and great to see 70’s pop stars still about (and in Daryl’s case using the Net for his own TV shows)

The support band were a young London band, Longfellow, listed on their website as melodically-charged alt.pop. Engaging, and they went down well with their first-ever big gig/tour, especially considering the crowd wasn’t really what you’d call “target audience”. I’d agree the “emoting” was a key feature of the music, a sort of Longpigs-cum-Starsailor stylee, and each member of the band gelled pretty well, ones to watch I’d say if they can focus a bit more on more cohesive songs: Each track was a bit of a mix n match of tempo and styles, just my own preference of course, as I firmly think the lead singer Owen could easily carry off an acapella version of one of their ballads, he had a good range, and just as easily the band could give one of the uptempo numbers some welly and fire it up to the next level for a bit of live stage variety. Good though and they did well, sounded great in a larger concert setting (they played 250 in Camden for their biggest previous Owen said!), and soundwise filled the BIC no problem. Best track, for me, Polaroid.

Hall & Oates Top Live Tracks:

1. She’s Gone
2. Private Eyes
3. Kiss On My List
4. Sara Smile
5. Out Of Touch
6. Say It Isn’t So
7. Maneater
8. You Make My Dreams Come True
9. Family Man
10. Back Together Again

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