07 October 2003

Yessss.....vintage Hall & Oates on TOTP 2 tonight, and what a performance. Daryl flailing around behind his Prophet 5 synth, lip-syncing like a muthafucka. Little John centre-stage yet seemingly invisable whilst the classic H&O backing band (Charlie De Chant on sax, Tom 'T-Bone' Wolk on bass, G.E. Smith on lead guitar...and the drummer) tear into 'Maneater' with the confidence of men who know they're at the top of their game. 'Maneater' is the opening cut on their 1982 album H20, which has the distinction of being the first LP I ever bought with my own money (the first LP I actually called my own was The Shadows' 20 Golden Greats, a present for my 7th birthday I believe). Other hits on this collection include 'One On One' and a cover of Mike Oldfield's 'Family Man'. But the real gem is 'Crime Pays' - a stripped-down irresistible electrophunk groove, one-note cold-synth riffs, eerie waves of electronic soundmatter weaving through the mix, proving these guys were totally in tune with the synthetic street sounds coming out of NYC at that time and perhaps, dare I say it, pioneering their crossover into the mainstream.
A few months back, the recently reformed Hall & Oates played live on Later with Jools Holland. Other than a few extra wrinkles and the sad demise of Oates' famous 'tash, the boys still cut the mustard, performing a wonderfully ramshackle acoustic version of 'One On One' that just sizzled with suppressed energy. Ever time Daryl emitted one of those grunts it was like being hit in the chest by hot gusts of pure Soul.
The Demolished Man will back me up on this, in time....