This opening date of his first major national tour was so good, however, that he looks sure to prevail in the end. With a nifty four-piece band, two backing singers, and tunes from the album already familiar to most of the audience, Hall was brilliant from the very first note, yet just got better with each number. Though his niche is Nu Classic Soul in the manner of Maxwell, D'Angelo and Chico DeBarge, Hall is the equal of any of them.
He gains extra credibility from his musicianship - he wrote, produced or co-produced and performed almost everything on the album himself - and his love-god credentials, which are substantial. Tall, rangy and shaven of head, Hall more than looks the part, but he's also sufficiently charming and good-humoured not to threaten too many boyfriends. When he swaps his electric guitar for an acoustic, he also reveals a new persona, projecting an endearing vulnerability on songs such as the beautiful "Do Angels Cry" and "Crescent Moon". A wonderfully lubricious version of what should have been his big hit, "Sexy Cinderella", ended the show. All in all, Hall was fantastic. He could be the new Al Green. Whoops.
To 18-19 March, when he plays London's Shepherd's Bush Empire (0171- 771 2000). A version of this review appeared in later editions of yesterday's paperReuse content