Texas - Colston Hall, Bristol
There are some bands where you know all the players, think U2 and Bono, The Edge, Larry Mullen Jr and Adam Clayton, or Blur and Damon Albarn, Graham Coxon, Dave Rowntree and Alex James. Then there are some where they’re defined by the frontman: Simple Minds and Jim Kerr, or INXS and Michael Hutchence. Well Scottish Britpop survivors Texas fall squarely into the second category; not only are they defined by Sharleen Spiteri, for all intent purposes they are Sharleen Spiteri.
After a long dry spell following their memorable debut single ‘I Don’t Want A Lover’ their defining period arrived in the mid to late 90’s and Spiteri was everywhere in popular culture, flirting with Chris Evans on TFI Friday, on the cover of the lads mags at the time, all while being the distinctive voice on 1997’s White On Blonde. On stage at Bristol’s Colston Hall the Scots singer is as confident and forward as ever, constantly encouraging the crowd to stand, and question their commitment to the show. She’s a whirling tornado of a presence.
For a couple of hours Spiteri takes us back to the 90’s as the band pull out the big guns, ‘Halo’ early on, and a run of ‘Summer Son’, ‘Black Eyed Boy’ and ‘Say What You Want’ to close. “Are you with us Bristol?” the frontwoman questions at a couple of quiet points; she has a couple of digs at the notoriously over-zealous Colston Hall security guards (“It’s a gig!”); and spends the show looking directly at the audience, making a point of constant eye contact (it’s a brightly lit show). There are stories and jokes, and at one point - in defiance of said security - Spiteri jumps into the audience and makes a beeline for the very back to lead the crowd in a rendition of 'Say What You Want'.
By the end of the near two hour experience the audience are left feeling like they know the singer far more intimately than beforehand. Her genuine affection for performing is clear and the sheer enthusiasm on show energises the 2,000 capacity venue. If ever a frontwoman defined a band it’s Texas.