Review by Natasha Wyborn
A return to the valley after a five year hiatus, Simply Red hit the stage with gusto on Saturday night. A perfect venue, weather warm and sunny, concert sold out as you would expect. The Hunter Valley got to continue its love affair with Mick Hucknall and his classy band. Joining the musicians from the side of the stage after a brief instrumental introduction, Hucknall looked happy and at home. Dressed casual but there was nothing unrehearsed about the bands performance. Hitting almost perfect notes from their first song ‘Look at you now’ Hucknall romanced the audience with a very appealing collection of hits. The crowd responded from the onset, “A new flame” signalled a calling to all people to get up and join the party.
The audience was mature with a high percentage of 50 plus year olds, letting their hair down and having fun under the sun. The band itself was made up predominantly of original members including Ian Kirkham (saxophone/keyboards), Dave Clayton (keyboards), Kenji Suzuki (guitar), Kevin Robinson (trumpet/flugelhorn/percussion), Steve Lewinson (bass guitar) and new member Roman Roth (drums). Each member took a turn at showcasing their skills in between Hucknall driving the hits.
“I want to play you the second song I ever wrote” said Hucknall standing alone on stage with an acoustic guitar. The 1985 classic “Holding Back The Years” echoed hauntingly around the capacity crowd and adjacent wineries. Moving through the set, constantly pleasing the crowd. The night itself ended to quickly with the hit “Fairground”. Returning for not one but two encores. The night finished with the smash “If You Don’t Know Me By Now”.
A shout out to Tina Arena and Natalie Imbruglia who were a perfect combination as special guests.
Overall a great day out. The atmosphere was relaxed, bring your own blanket, food and sample some great wines. The Day on the Green experience was fantastic and well worth a try.
Look at You Now, A New Flame, Never Never Love, Night Nurse, Thrill Me,
For Your Babies, Holding Back the Years, It’s Only Love, Your Mirror,
Stars, The Right Thing, Come to My Aid, Sunrise, Fairground
Shine On, Money’s Too Tight (To Mention)
Something Got Me Started, If You Don’t Know Me By Now
Headliner: Simply Red – www.simplyred.com
Support: Tina Arena – www.tinaarena.com
Venue: Bimbadgen Winery, Pokolbin Australia – http://www.bimbadgen.com.au
Date: February 20, 2016