Review: Texas


Texas review: The thrill has not gone

I was barely a one-year-old when Texas’ debut Album Southside was released in March 1989 and somehow I still managed to learn every lyric – fast forward almost 33 years since that album’s release and I’m stood centre stalls singing along to every word that the impeccable frontwoman Sharlene Spiteri is singing in front of me. It’s surreal, incredible and was definitely worth braving Storm Eunice for.

Entering the stage, the velvet-voiced Glaswegian comedically introduces the band, formed in the midst of the 80s, as the “warm up” acoustic band for the main act, Texas, who promise a “more dancy” second half – that aside there are still occasional moments when members of the audience get up to do a two-step during the acoustic set – unsurprising, given the constraints of the pandemic, many of the audience members have been waiting almost 3 years for this moment after 3 rescheduled dates.

Was it worth the wait? You betcha.

To mark the milestone of their debut album’s release, the band promised to perform Southside in full, as an acoustic rehearsal-style performance. It’s intimate, gritty and nostalgic. We’ve got front row seats at the studio.

In between numbers Sharlene pauses for small anecdotes to introduce the songs, interestingly the band wanted to release Thrill has Gone against their record labels advice, only for it to hit the UK charts at number 60 – after the success of debut single I Don’t Want a Lover Spiteri’s advice was “sometimes it’s good to listen to your record label folks,” but it’s still a belter of a track and stands the test of time to this day.

We’re also treated to small insights into the band’s tour life. For instance Spiteri’s partner in crime Johnny McElhone likes to drink Berocca in his tea before coming on stage much to the band and audience’s distaste.

It’s very rare to see or hear a band have the confidence to perform an entire album live in front of a big audience, but for one as established and successful as Texas it’s exceptional entertainment. The band is polished, Spiteri’s voice is flawless and the combination of old and new fans are happy – has it really been 30 years?

The second half brings a set and costume change – we’ve now moved from the studio to stage and bums are no longer on seats. Halo, Summer Son, Inner Smile and In Demand were particular favourites and I wouldn’t be exaggerating if I said they drummed up the same emotions and sentiment as the first time I heard them. Joining in with the harmonies we repeat after Spiteri as she then proceeds to soulfully sing the harmonies of Say what you want and In Demand with us, I feel involved and elevated. It’s clear, much like me, that Texas’ fans don’t want this night to end.

But unfortunately it has to and a highly anticipated encore brings hits I don’t want a lover, Black Eyed Boy and a funky cover of one of Spiteri’s favourite, Suspicious Minds before we leave to brave the storm once again.

Texas sound as fresh and inspired as the first time I heard them it’s evident that even after 33 years the thrill has not gone.

Review by Nadya Jaworksyi

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