So there you have it.
You decide to reform one of the key swaggering rock ‘n’ roll bands of the seventies, a band whose very name is the bench mark in slovenly rock n roll excess. A band who was fronted by one of the great, gravel voiced singers and a band who oozed a louche charisma and a band who almost matched the Stones at their pomp and at their own game.
The trouble is your ex singer is not keen so you have to draft in a new vocalist.
It’s a problem that faces many bands over the years.
It comes at that point of time when you just want to rock n roll for one last time but you can’t quite get the rest of old crew to agree- especially the singer whose by now and international superstar. Getting a different singer in is the hurdle most long-term rock bands have to surmount sometime and some get away with it.
So you cast your eye around the scene. There’s plenty of charismatic, dishevelled, gravel voiced waifs out there so what do you do?
You phone Mick Hucknall!
Yup, the Faces reunion has hit a stumbling block.
Instead of Rod Stewart who, younger readers may not be aware, was one of the totemic rock n roll singers of his time, the band have somehow asked the flame haired Manchester white soul boy into the band.
Now this is not an anti Mick Hucknall rant.
There’s a lot of really good things about him- apart from the fact that he is technically a great singer- taht he coolly doesn’t blab on about. He used to run a great dub and reggae label called Blood and Fire that made sure the penniless originators of the form were paid after years of neglect. He is an encyclopaedia of music and a proven stadium filling success. And it’s not like he not an old rocker- he was one of the Faces on the original Manchester punk scene and a big Clash fan.
Meanwhile musically, even if Simply Red are a touch to polished for a pair of underground ears then his former band, from back in the mists of Manchester punk- the Frantic Elevators cut some fine records.
Nope, this blog is not anti Mick, this blog is just a bit shocked at this most unlikely of couplings, Mick Hucknall and the Faces are many things to many very different people. The Faces were the prime example of hooligan blues in the superyob seventies whilst Simply Red soundtracked a more sedate suburban grown up audience. There is very little common ground between them and the pairing will have promoters feeling nervous.
It isn’t the first time a band have tried to patch up the line up and try to catch some of the old magic. Maybe Faces were thinking along the lines of Queen and Paul Rogers or even the rumoured Aerosmith and Billy Idol partnership that didn’t eventually happen, maybe it was the Led Zeppelin crisis when Robert Plant decided against more shows after the O2 comeback- there was all manner of crazy names in air for the Zep job but luckily Jimmy Page saw sense unlike the Faces who it could be said have maybe strayed a little too far from their hallowed hometurf with this decision.