Daryl Hall and John Oates became prestigious names in the music industry as early as the 1970s. Though their last album was released thirteen years ago, a Christmas collection that didn’t gather them any new interest, with a whopping 21 studio albums under the belt and around the same number of massive hit singles, Hall and Oates still sit at the top of the smooth pop-rock game. It would be a challenge to find a westerner who hasn’t heard anything from the duo.
Throughout the decades the pair has kept a connected relationship; never supporting the rumors that arose of bad blood between the pair when either undertook a solo-project. As the 1990s ended, Hall and Oates seemed to step back from the machine they had become, constantly churning out records of soul and rhythm-filled rock, pop, and Motown and began taking on more of their own, individual projects. Daryl Hall had always released solo albums alongside his work in the duo whereas John Oates did not release a solo album until 2002. Hall’s most notable work away from the pairing is his audio-visual project Live from Daryl’s House. This is a streamed channel, filmed in Hall’s home studio or club venue, where Hall invites historic and cutting-edge artists to come and perform with him and his band for one- offsets. Guests include Smokey Robinson, Ceelo Green, Gym Class Hero’s Travis McCoy, and an unmissable performance by The O’Jays. John Oates has kept more to himself outside of his world as half of arguably the most influential pop-rock duo in history. Writing songs, albums, and a memoir, he has evaded the heavy spotlight that Hall basks in. It’s clear, however, that neither can stray too far from a musical venture with tours, co-projects, guest-spots aplenty.
For the first time in five years, Hall and Oates played a four-date UK tour with all dates selling out rapidly. Their final set of the British leg of their tour was in Glasgow’s SSE Hydro arena with the support of Scottish sensation KT Tunstall. Ms Tunstall was an exquisite choice of support for the night. Not only could the lass sell-out nationwide shows of her own accord, but she is also from a town not too far from the venue called St Andrews, in the county of Fife. And there were plenty of Fifers in the house ready to cheer on their lady.
After shooting to fame in the mid-2000s with her debut album Eye to the Telescope, Tunstall has never been one to grab the spotlight and has allowed her music to grab the attention. She has suffered from serve hearing loss yet seems unfazed by this and since 2017 has been working on a trio of albums celebrating the soul, with the album KIN, the body, with album WAX, and the mind, album to be released.
Tunstall played a blinder at the Hydro. With a powerful, all-girl band, they’d displayed a strong connection between members as performed a synchronised routine. The five ladies looked strong and determined and it translated right into their set. Tunstall’s sound has evolved from her folk-pop beginnings to a more modern heavy style that doesn’t have the same energetic impact as her old belters. I think Tunstall made some mistakes by not playing anthem track ‘Dark Side of Me’ from the new album and including the much blander ‘Backlash and Vinegar.’ An incredible moment from her set was the stunning ‘Black Horse and the Cherry Tree/Black Betty’ mix as well the wonderful iconic tracks ‘Saving My Face’ and ‘Suddenly I See’ which Tunstall finished her set with. There was no doubt in any audience member’s mind how KT Tunstall stormed into the charts over a decade ago but it’s also clear that she has grown her style. However, she can still perform her most beloved tracks with more gusto and brilliance than the day they were written.