Around two years after Simply Red breathed its last, the band's instantly recognisable talisman is taking his new solo album, American Soul, to the Royal Albert Hall. The record, his second solo outing and another collection of covers following 2008's Tribute to Bobby (featuring the songs of Bobby Bland), brings together a number of American standards which have influenced Hucknall's career.
Mick Hucknall's solo sorties neatly sum up a career which has seen him rack up more than 50 million in album sales with Simply Red and, in doing so, stake a claim as the white soul voice of a generation. Many of Simply Red's biggest hits (but not all) were carefully selected retellings of pop-soul classics such as the memorable cover of If You Don't Know Me By Now. However, to paint Simply Red as a covers band would be grossly inaccurate - their most successful album (of many) was 1991's Stars which turned 12 times Platinum in the UK, topped charts everywhere and remains one of the best-selling British records of all time - without a cover in sight.
That said, Hucknall's inspiration is clear and his love for the classic blues and soul sound has endured, manifesting itself, so far, in his solo outings. The Royal Albert Hall set promises more of those influential classics from American Soul including I Only Have Eyes For You and That's How Strong My Love Is. Mick Hucknall's voice will, one suspects, fill every nook and cranny of that glorious auditorium.
Mick Hucknall plays the Royal Albert Hall on Tuesday 18th September 2012. We will have tickets available from 9am on Friday 11th May; demand will be high.