Their set began oddly. A short film about the band reminded us of their innovation, how they’d fallen through the cracks, only to be rediscovered 30 years later. And then, just as it’s meant to end happily, tragedy.
I’m not sure why we’re played the film. Maybe 30 years in the wilderness breeds insecurity. But it feels as if Simeon is trying to educate us or justify his status. He should remember we’ve chosen to be here. It’s preaching to the converted.
Simeon comes onstage to a warm welcome. The music, barring a few updates here and there, is close to the sound on their classic records, but not quite there. Injury limits Simeon’s playing ability and age has weakened his voice. It’s like a ghoulish karaoke.
The audience receive the songs with warmth. I don’t begrudge Simeon the applause or resent the crowds judgement. If they shared mine then this would have been a sour experience. However, for me no accumulated amount of goodwill can disguise the poverty of this gig. And it gives me no pleasure to report that.