Music review: Texas, Edinburgh Castle

Sharleen Spiteri’s effortless rapport with her audience elevates Texas’ string of hits, writes David Pollock
Sharleen Spiteri delivers big songs with youthful energySharleen Spiteri delivers big songs with youthful energy
Sharleen Spiteri delivers big songs with youthful energy

Texas, Edinburgh Castle ****

Sharleen Spiteri’s effortless and always entertaining rapport with a Scottish audience elevates Texas’ show. She shot down East/West tension amid the audience – “Scotland is Scotland!” – after mentioning how cheap Glaswegian ice cream is the only kind she likes, especially during a heatwave. “I'm a woman of a certain age, I don't need any more heat in my body.”

This was all very funny, as was discussion of the Scottish weather in preparation for Summer Son, contending with record company execs in the band’s early years (Thrill Has Gone was introduced as “the song no-one wanted to buy”) and insisting on “no middle-aged dad dancing shit” before the pleasing upbeat Let's Work It Out, with its Nile Rodgers guitar line and brief foray into Orange Juice’s Rip It Up.

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There was, of course, also music to accompany the conversation. The Glaswegian group have amassed one of those enduring catalogues where nearly every song – Thrill Has Gone aside – is a familiar hit. Even more impressive is the way these continue to the present. Among the highlights here was Hi, their unlikely reunion with Wu-Tang Clan, and Mr Haze, bouncing along with the upbeat energy of Donna Summer’s Love’s Unkind. Both are from last year’s tenth album, also named Hi.

All the way there were big songs, delivered with youthful energy by Spiteri and especially their new drummer Cat Myers, from I Don’t Want a Lover and Halo to Inner Smile and Say What You Want. In Demand was dedicated to Spiteri’s old friend and hairdressing colleague Debbie, who was in the crowd, and who apparently taught her to return lipstick-stained clothes to Miss Selfridge after wearing them out on Friday night.

It was like being in the singer’s living room, with a castle in the background and jetstreams creating a Saltire in the blue sky as they played, before they closed with a cover of Suspicious Minds. “This was never a job, this was our dream,” declared Spiteri. “I'm gonna get all emotional now. Either that or I've got hay fever.”

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