Review: Hugh Cornwell and Hazel O’Connor, The Arc, Stockton

Hugh Cornwell had the old punks pogoing and Hazel O’Connor’s new material was delivered with as much soul and passion as the old favourites

ByMartin Neal-DNU

  • 28 NOV 2014
Hugh Cornwell and Hazel O'Connor
Hugh Cornwell and Hazel O’Connor

Hugh Cornwell without the Stranglers, Hazel O’Connor with no-one but a keyboard player and a saxophonist for company – surely this shouldn’t work?

Well yes, actually, it does. Very well indeed.

First up on this double bill of 70s surviovors was the Breaking Glass songstress. Long gone are the heavy eyeliner and mop of peroxide blonde hair, and so too is the pop-punk sounds that propelled her up in the charts back in the day.

Her sound is more jazzy these days – you almost expected John Thompson’s Louis Balfour Fast Show character to pop up and say “Nice” at times.

But her new material was delivered with as much soul and passion as the old favourites, which found their new, mellower surroundings just as habitable.

And as for Will You? Well it’s a classic, isn’t it? A marvellous way to end a super set.

Orginal Stranglers front man Cornwell, meanwhile, had the old punks pogoing by the end as he interspered his solo offerings with some of the Meniniblack’s classics.

It can’t have been easy adapating the likes of Duchess, Skin Deep and Dagenham Dave to be played without Dave Greenfield’s distinctive keyboards, but he managed it. And Caz Campbell is a far better looking bass player than Jean-Jacques Burnel!

Cornwell has lost none of his dry wit or his appetite for good old rock ‘n’ roll and the night came to a rousing climax with O’Connor back on stage to take lead vocals on Hanging Around. Nice!

https://www.gazettelive.co.uk/whats-on/music-nightlife-news/review-hugh-cornwell-hazel-oconnor-8193626

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