WHERE: Mission Estate Winery, Napier
REVIEWED BY: Jonathan Dine
Simply Red was simply ... brilliant. The English pop and soul group led by the dynamic Mick Hucknall turned back time to prove age is no barrier electrifying the crowd with a seamless display of classic rock.
Hucknall immediately engaged the mission audience with his trademark charisma and humour. The fiery Hucknall, joined by long-serving bandmates Ian Kirkham (sax), Steve Lewinson (bass), Kenji Suzuki (guitar), Kevin Robinson (trumpet and flute) and Dave Clayton (keyboards), plus new drummer Roman Roth, opened the gig with a hit from Their new album, Big Love.
The English group then spoke of the popularity of their early ballads before belting out their 1981 sensation For your babies.
The sharp lighting display perfectly complimented the group's in-sync rhythm and energy. Take it as "red", the boys came to play. Holding back the years had the crowd turning back the years as they twisted, robotted and sprinklered to the sounds of the celebrated soul sensations.
As twilight enveloped the arena, the well spirited scores rose as Hucknall and co ignited their adoring masses with perhaps their perhaps their most nostalgic number Stars.
They closed the set with two all time classics Money's too tight to mention and A new flame.
The high spirited crowd was enthralled by Hucknall's immaculate vocals backed up by his tight and methodical ensemble.
A great show by a great band.