Singer Mick Hucknall decided that 2011 would be the year he brought the curtain down on Simply Red, the soulful pop band that sold more than fifty million units in the past 25 years. The band embarked on one final tour, and one of their last shows was this powerhouse performance filmed in Australia in the beautiful setting of the Sydney Opera House. The early portion of the twenty-song set finds Hucknall displaying his mastery of blue-eyed soul with a take on "Jericho" from the first Simply Red album and a cover of the Talking Heads number "Heaven," done very un-Heads-like, and then several selections from the New Flame and Stars albums. Clearly Simply Red is especially beloved in Australia and the crowd shows deep appreciation for every cut as if they were megahits, and with good reason; Hucknall and company are seasoned and highly polished and give nothing short of a spectacular performance throughout. The crowd especially loves Hucknall's dedication of "If You Don't Know Me By Now" to the late Teddy Pendergrass and they go absolutely bonkers when Hucknall begins "It's Only Love," dedicated to Barry White, with a brief mimic of a White-style sensual and bass-y come-on. The funky disco of "Come to My Aid," the first song sequentially on the first Simply Red album, is a mid-set highlight and big hit "Money's Too Tight (To Mention)" comes towards set-end, leading to the expected and appropriate closer for a farewell concert, "Holding Back the Years." This film is definitely a keeper and those who have previously only been casual Simply Red fans should recognize here with one viewing what they've been missing for all these years. The DVD features a brief interview with Hucknall and a companion CD holds sixteen of the tunes performed in the film.
Simply Red - Farewell: Live in Concert at Sydney Opera House