Texas at the Hammersmith Apollo
Since their conception in 1986 Texas have sold over 30 million albums worldwide, achieved three platinum albums and amassed 11 top ten UK singles. Now the group have joined forces once again in the wake of their newly released album The Conversation – the Glaswegian five-piece who conquered the 90s are back.
There is a discernible sense of triumph about the band as they march on stage at the Hammersmith Apollo. This pride is not surprising given that barely four years ago guitarist Ally McErlaine suffered a near-fatal brain aneurysm, prolonging the band’s eight-year hiatus. McErlaine’s tenacious persistence to play music and devotion to his craft appears to have seeped through the rest of the group, who ignite as they take up their instruments. The audience are caught up in the furore, their loyalty tangible. Testament to the power of nostalgia, they hold a fierce affection for the band manifested in the many St Andrews flags sprinkled throughout the room.
Candid frontwoman Sharleen Spiteri is the figurehead of this passionate collective. Clad in a black three-piece suit she cuts a striking figure bounding about the stage. Energy radiates from Spiteri’s pealing voice. Her vocal has blossomed with maturity; she oscillates between airy soprano and gravelly sustains, and emits artful jolting screams in Big World and Black Eyed Boy. I Don’t Want a Lover is bellowed with adroit force, complementing the bluesy guitar and rollicking piano.
Dotted between the band’s classic anthems are tracks from The Conversation. “Do you think that’s a good idea?” Spiteri asks gingerly, probably owing to the album’s recent mediocre reception. Her on-stage presence however is enough for the songs to sparkle, particularly Dry Your Eyes which bounces with a jovial 50s rock ‘n’ roll beat and throbs under Spiteri’s thundering sustains.
Spiteri owns the stage, her crude wry humour leading us cheerily on to the encore. During the infamous hit Inner Smile she implores the crowd to join her: “C’mon!” she yells, “sing it with guts, way down deep in your soul”. And willingly they do – “you make me feel wild” echoing through the aisles. “It’s good to be back” says Spiteri, and deep in song the whole room agrees.
Photos: Erol Birsen
For further information and future events visit Texas’s website here.
Watch the video for Dry Your Eyes here: