12 February 2022
Joined by special guest Mica Paris!
Simply Red have rescheduled their highly anticipated UK and Ireland tour, which includes two must-see shows at London’s O2 Arena, for February 2022. The tour, originally planned for 2020, comes after the band’s acclaimed 2019 album ‘Blue Eyed Soul’. The wonderful Mica Paris is special guest on all dates.
On tour expect them to deliver all their classics including ‘Stars’, ‘Holding Back The Years’, ‘Fairground’ and ‘Money’s Too Tight To Mention’.
Mick Hucknall can’t wait to get back onstage. “I’ve spent most of my life going out and singing for people, so it feels strange not to have that.” he said.” I miss being able to express myself. It's going to be wonderfully inspiring when people can go and see bands again. I can’t wait.”
He’s got blue eyes and a soulful voice.
Blue Eyed Soul by Simply Red is the 12th album from Hucknall’s sleek multi-million selling groove machine. And it is the rawest, funkiest, dirtiest, brassiest and most purely 100 per cent soulful concoction of their stellar career.
From the dramatic burst of horns and percussion that introduces the swaggering funk of Thinking Of You to the dreamy strings and tender vocals of sensual ballad Tonight, you know that this is the good stuff. The brashly stylised cover image could be a poster for a superfly seventies Harlem cop flick relocated to the mean streets of Manchester. Musical reference points draw on classic funk and soul: Wilson Pickett, Dyke and the Blazers, James Brown, and the roaring horns of Tower of Power. “I didn’t have to go back and dig into record crates for inspiration. I’ve been listening to soul music since I was a kid, it’s been in my head and heart for 50 years. I’m doing what comes naturally.”
The album was recorded at Mark Knopfler’s British Grove studios in London, where the Rolling Stones recently made their acclaimed Blue & Lonesome. “It’s a wonderful room to record in the old style, where you count off the track and go for it. I was in a booth, the band were all set up, 1-2-3-4 and off we go. All pretty much live takes, with overdubs here and there.”
After 40 years of making records (with punk band The Frantic Elevators, solo and various line ups of Simply Red) Hucknall wanted to create something tailored to the core strength of his fantastic band. “I asked myself, what would these guys really like to play, night after night? I want them to enjoy playing, for crowds to get up and move around, and everybody to put their heart into it. It’s all about capturing the groove.”
And Hucknall was thinking about his remarkable voice. “I wanted to push my voice a little harder, challenge it a little bit, give myself something to really sing to.” Hucknall has long since established himself as one of the great vocalists of contemporary music, with a raw honey and whiskey tone, and a sinuous flow that can shift from the tender sensuality to full on roaring power in a heartbeat. At 59, it is all still there. “It’s deepened a little bit but I’ve kept the high end, so I can still hit those notes. Singing is pure pleasure to me.”
In recent years, Hucknall could regularly be seen making guest appearances singing with Van Morrison, Quincy Jones, Bill Wyman’s Blues Band and Charlie Watts Big Band. In the past, he has sung with late blues legend B.B. King and between 2009 and 2011 replaced Rod Stewart as vocalist in a reunited line up of his childhood heroes The Faces. “Singing is my work but I love it so much, I don’t even think of it as a job. It’s a way of life. Through good times and bad, it is a deep, fundamental love of music that has kept me going.”
Simply Red have over a billion hits on You Tube, have sold over 60 million albums worldwide, 5 going to number one in the UK. Their 1991 classic Stars was the best-selling album for two years running in Britain and Europe. They have had two US Billboard chart toppers with classic singles Holding Back The Years and If You Don’t Know Me By Now. Every Simply Red studio album has been a UK top ten (with previous release Big Love reaching number 4 in 2015). Hucknall has been the songwriter and bandleader since the beginning in 1985, aided since 1986 by long-serving saxophonist Ian Kirkham. The current line-up of Simply Red has remained consistent since 2003. “I wouldn’t like to say I am Simply Red but obviously, as the singer and songwriter, there couldn’t be a band without me. I love the romantic idea of groups that stick together but I am also drawn to looser jazz, reggae and R’n’B band structures, where different musicians bring different flavours.” He is at pains to stress that this is more than just a brand. “I’ve done solo albums but I have a great respect for the musicians I work with, and we play as a band. I don’t want any ambiguity about it. Simply Red encapsulates what we do together.”
“In many ways, music is a young man’s sport. All I can do is make music that means something to me. I’m happy with this album. It’s feeling pretty good. And I’m looking forward to playing it live because it is real.
Blue Eyed Soul is the sound of Simply Red firing on all cylinders. “At this stage of my career, I could do one of these dark reflective albums looking back on my life and all that kind of stuff that people tend to do at a certain age. But I thought sod that. I wanted to make something punchy. I want to have a good time. I’m not saying its my last album, because I’ve got no thoughts of stopping. But when I go out, I want to go out with a bang.
Simply Red, originally due to take place at the M&S Bank Arena on 11 October 2020 and later rescheduled to 17 October 2021, has been further postponed. The new date for the show is 12 February 2022.
Please see the below statement:
Due to the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the easing of Covid-19 restrictions for live events in the UK, the Simply Red UK tour dates are being moved to February 2022.
Whilst we are all saddened and frustrated to be bringing you the news that the shows will no longer take place in 2021, we really can’t wait to see you all there just a few months later for a huge celebration! All tickets purchased will remain valid for the new dates and your ticket agent will be in direct contact shortly.
All tickets for the original show remain valid for the rescheduled date on Saturday 12 February 2022.
Under 14s must be accompanied by an adult.
Maximum of 8 tickets per person.
One Night OnlyVIP Suite Package
One Night OnlyLiverpool Gin Lounge - £160 per person, (includes premium ticket, welcome drink and shared deli board)
Most Liverpool city centre bound buses will call at either Queen Square bus station (a 15-minute walk) or Liverpool ONE Bus Station, which is only a five minute walk to M&S Bank Arena.
The CityLink Route C4 bus links Queen Square bus station, James Street rail station and Liverpool ONE Bus Station to the venue. CityLink Route C4 operates every 20 minutes on Mondays to Saturdays and every 30 minutes on Sundays, between 7am – 8pm, with a maximum fare of £1 per journey. Merseytravel prepaid tickets, National Concessionary bus passes and Arriva day tickets are all valid on this service.
For up-to-date information on all bus, train and ferry services, call Traveline Merseyside on 0871 200 22 33, open 8am – 8pm, 364 days a year or visit www.merseytravel.gov.uk
For all car journeys it's best to follow the white on brown tourist route signs for the Waterfront. These signs are visible on the major routes into the city. M&S Bank Arena is situated on the Kings Dock directly adjacent to the south side of the Albert Dock. Upon arrival, the Kings Dock entrance is clearly sign posted.
From the North...
Leave the M6 at junction 26 and follow signs for M58 Liverpool. Follow to end of M58 and then take signs for A59 Liverpool. Continue to follow Liverpool City Centre until picking up signs for the Waterfront.
From the South...
Leave the M6 at junction 21A and take the M62 to Liverpool. At the end of the M62 follow signs for Liverpool City Centre along Edge Lane, picking up and following signs for Waterfront.
From the south...
Virgin Trains operates hourly, direct services from London Euston to Liverpool Lime Street (with a journey time of just over two hours). Other long-distance rail services also operate into Liverpool Lime Street station.
M&S Bank Arena is a 20-minute walk from Lime Street or a short taxi ride. You can also transfer at Lime Street onto the underground Wirral Line trains to James Street station (10 minute walk) or catch the CityLink Route C4 (7am – 8pm) directly to the venue. If travelling from outside Merseyside, you can catch an underground train to James Street station from Lime Street station, inclusive of the cost of your ticket.
Flying into Liverpool John Lennon Airport...
A taxi from the airport to the city centre will take approximately 20 minutes or the express bus service Route 500 will take approximately 25 minutes, dropping you off within a five minute walk of M&S Bank Arena, while Manchester’s international airport is just 45 minutes away by car.
To book accessible tickets please call our box office on 0344 8000 400 on the day that the event goes on sale - this applies to both presale and general sale.
Our contact centre is open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.
Our new on-site temporary multi-deck car park is now open. There is plenty of parking nearby too, more information on driving to the venue and parking can be found here.
- Merseytravel (rail, ferry and bus timetables)
- Liverpool John Lennon Airport
- Manchester Airport
- Visit Liverpool (Tourism website)
- Virgin Trains (mainline services from Liverpool Lime Street)