Texas makes a welcome return to Tyneside mid-way through their sold out 21 date UK tour.
Having spent the last few days north of the border with shows in Edinburgh, Dundee and Inverness the proudly Scottish outfit arrives at the Newcastle City Hall still on a high from their recent endeavours.
The band’s phenomenal 32-year career has witnessed worldwide album sales in excess of 35 million records including three number one albums, 7 top ten albums and 13 top ten singles. Back in April this year Texas added to their already stellar discography with their ninth studio album Jump on Board.
As the house lights dim, and plumes of smoke fills the room Texas take to the stage with an emphatic rendition of “Halo”. Over the next two hours, the band meander their way through their impressive hit-laden songbook and the whole room is up on their feet for the duration.
The set this evening is peppered with tracks from their latest offering. The room is rather fittingly bathed in soft light from a spinning mirror ball at the rear of the stage whilst Texas showcase tracks from Jump on Board like the synth-infused, disco-inflected “Let’s Work It Out” and “Midnight”.
Whether Texas are digging deep into their back catalogue with tracks from their 1989 debut Southside like “Everyday Now” and “Thrill Has Gone” or “So Called Friend” from Rick’s Road the fan’s know every word of every song, which is a real testament to their staying power. Texas with accompaniment from the City Hall choir are in fine voice this evening.
One of the great things about Sharleen Spiteri is that she has the ability to make a huge sold out room feel small and intimate, giving the show her own unique personal touch. Whether she is perched on the edge of the stage telling tales about her daughter growing up in London, hilariously lambasting a member of the audience for wolf whistling at her or sharing the microphone with a fan in the front row to jam out a spontaneous request of “Kiss” by Prince – it really feels as though Spiteri connects with everyone in the room.
During the course of the evening, Sharleen’s quick wit and sharp retorts really strike a chord with the Newcastle audience. Much like our neighbours in the north – the Glaswegians, the Geordies love a bit of banter.
Having been visited early in the afternoon by sporting legends Steve Cram and Daley Thompson, the latter of which declared his love of soul music. Subsequently, Spiteri assumed her position behind the keyboard as the group delivered their incredible take on Al Green’s R&B classic “Tired of Being Alone”. Of course, Texas famously released the track as a single back in 1992 reaching Number 19 in the official UK chart.
As the band head into the final third of their marathon set, they wheel out the big guns with a whole raft of their timeless anthems. A beautiful acoustic rendition of “In Demand” see’s the whole room illuminated by mobile phone lights swaying from side to side.
As the stage is plunged into darkness, the unmistakable slide guitar intro of the band’s debut single “I Don’t Want A Lover”, has the whole room clapping and singing along. Texas brings their main set to a close with a couple of fan favourites from their seminal album White on Blonde in the shape of “Black Eyed Boy” and “Say What You Want”, which in turn leaves the crowd wanting more.
Following a brief intermission, Texas returns to the stage for a duly deserved encore which includes a euphoric rendition of “Inner Smile” before bringing the evening to a close with their take on the Elvis Presley by way of Mark James hit “Suspicious Minds”.
On the strength of this performance tonight, Texas are back to their very best. Adding to their already impressive treasure trove of incredibly infectious, crowd-pleasing hits the band’s new material has given Texas a fresh new sound for 2017, whilst at the same time, the band has stayed true to their roots.
Event Date: 27-Sept-2017