Hall & Oates

SSE Hydro, Glasgow

3 stars

Graeme Thomson

Having shucked off the demeaning Guilty Pleasure tag, Hall & Oates are enjoying the late period victory lap their string of immaculate pop-soul hits deserves. It’s just a shame that their singer wasn’t in the mood to enjoy it.

Heaven help the sound man forced to face the wrath of Daryl Hall after this frustrating show. Hall spent the first half of the concert in an almighty strop, raging to the wings during and after each song, while John Oates wore the weary look of a man well used to mopping up temper tantrums. “You’re confused but you’re charming,” he told Hall, which was at least half right.

Hall’s grandstanding dissatisfaction not only seemed an over-reaction, it dampened the joy of a 15-song set which was never further than a cheesy sax solo from a bona fide classic. The sound was muddy but hardly disastrous, and improved when Hall switched from guitar to piano and keyboards in the latter stages.

Now in their seventies, albeit with the hair of men half their age, the pair led a slick six-piece band whose touch occasionally proved a tad heavy for these gossamer pop confections. The supple swing of Maneater and Family Man was flattened by overly rocky arrangements, but the plush Philly soul roll of She’s Gone landed perfectly, and I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do) worked itself into a properly funky froth, Anchorman flute and all. Hall’s voice betrayed some rust on the top notes, but was still in impressively soulful shape.

The encore delivered a royal flush of irresistible hits. By the time they’d steamed through Rich Girl, Private Lives and You Make My Dreams, even the grumpy singer seemed in danger of cheering up.

The return of Daryl Hall and John Oates