live review for the skinny
Overheard in the Classic Grand crowd - “That Antony’s been on one helluva diet” - as a chiselled Amazonian goddess takes the rotund Mr Hegarty’s place for lead vocals on Blind. It’s only her presence that assures us we’re not looking at UB40, but sadly her vocals aren’t as agile as her dancing. Hercules And Love Affair’s brilliant self-titled debut LP uses a number of singers, but Anthony’s absence wouldn’t have been noticed if the replacements hadn’t been both flat and too quiet in a muffled mix. There’s only so much anyone could fail with such great source material: Andy Butler’s unashamedly retro homages to New York disco and Chicago house get everyone flailing, but there are slower songs too, like Iris, which demonstrate an album focus uncommon in a 12”-based dance culture. But hopefully DJ Butler realises that reproducing that well with a live band is harder than spinning records: not only must everyone hit their notes every time, but we must be able to hear that they are.