Sometimes, goodwill doesn't need hunting. After a gushing introduction from Bernard Butler, a slim figure is helped up from the crowd, settles on a stool, smiles with those lush lips that looked handsome on a young face and strange on an older one, and receives the loudest standing ovation in town.
In February 2005, Edwyn Collins suffered a life-threatening brain haemorrhage that significantly damaged his powers of memory and speech. Just 30 months later, he is able to release his sixth solo album, Home Again, recorded before the illness, and play his first concert since.
A round of applause is rightly given for being here at all. Correctly, too, a certain amount of slack is cut for the man who, as leader of Orange Juice, altered the course of independent music. But let us not pretend that the post-Juice, pre-"Girl Like You" years were anything but a wilderness of major label plodding. And it would be patronising to applaud Collins for much beyond his presence. His band provide an excellent facsimile of the OJ sound, but Collins' adenoidal voice has gone from an assured croon to a sort of caterwaul. Was it a thrill to hear "Rip It Up" in the flesh? Absolutely. Is it business as usual? Absolutely not.
Even if they weren't mooching around in full view throughout a technical delay, you'd be in no doubt that this was a Chromeo show. That's because the Canadian duo, self-billed as "the only successful Arab/Jewish collaboration since the beginning of time", have smartly provided a ready-made pre-show chant so addictive that their fans sing it until the men from Montreal step up.
Chromeo are a hugely entertaining enterprise specialising in 1980s-inflected electro funk. Dave 1 (*é David Macklovitch) looks like John Turturro in Barton Fink, which offsets the audacious chauvinism of his lyrics. Half of which, in any case, are delivered by sidekick P-Thugg (*é Patrick Gemayel) through a vocoder-type device.
There's a snatch of Dire Straits' "Money for Nothing" and Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'", but the finale, "Woman Friend", proves that, when it comes to the funk, it's Chromeo who are in control.Reuse content