Classic Grand, Glasgow
Andrew Butler has seen his collective drawn from the New York club, art and fashion scenes mushroom in both popularity and acclaim since the release of their debut album in March, yet aside from a few hometown warm-ups, this British tour is their introduction to playing live.
With a four piece rhythm section, 2 brass players and 2 vocalists, it would seem to have all the right ingredients to take the best parts of the album, which is a soaring collision of seventies’ disco, eighties’ electro-pop and early house music, to the stage.
The broad church of the music also makes for a diverse audience, but though the response is enthusiastic, band and crowd never really connect. It may be because of the one missing ingredient, the voice of Antony, which plays a major part on the record. It is setting any singer a demanding task to substitute his voice, but neither Nomi or Kim Ann Foxman are close to filling the void.
As a result of the vocals being (perhaps intentionally) low in the mix, the real anthems, ‘Blind’ and ‘Hercules Theme’ are slightly blunted, and while both vocalists are lively enough, there is a rigidity to the performance that is perhaps as much down to the retiring and slightly functional feel of the rhythm section.
Only the brass players seem to be truly enjoying the experience, and a really great disco outfit would surely be stronger either vocally or rhythmically.
Strangely an encore of soft-rock classic, ‘Don’t Fear The Reaper,’ allows them to loosen up and hint at the possibilities for Hercules and Love Affair as a great live band. Until then, the recorded version is the more convincing.