WHERE: 02 Brixton Academy

WHEN: 13/2, European tour runs to 16/3

SETLIST: Surrender; Some Kind of Heaven; Miracle; Why; Somebody To Die For; Weight of the World, Blood, Tears and Gold; Evelyn; Illuminated; Affair; Rolling Stone; Lights; Sunday; Sandman; Wonderful Life;  Better Than Love; Wings; Nothing Will Be Bigger Than Us; Stay.

The last time we saw Hurts at this venue five years ago there was a real sense of triumph in the air not least because Kylie Minogue dropped by to duet on two songs.

That gig was the climax of two years which had seen the Manchester duo rise from obscurity to success across Europe most notably in Germany where they sold over half a million copies of debut album Happiness.

Fast forward five years and sales of follow up albums 2013’s Exile and 2015’s Surrender haven’t quite matched their debut. What they have achieved though is to bring both quality and variety to this 19-song setlist.

Where Hurts’ early shows (we first saw them in Stoke in 2010) were defiantly sombre, epic and downbeat, the Surrender tour boasts the sweet upbeat euphoric pop of Some Kind of Heaven and potential chart-bothering club banger Nothing Will Be Bigger Than Us.

We last saw Hurts in June at the Scala when they premiered much of the new material on Surrender but not Lights which is the stand-out of the new tracks tonight, a slinky and slithering slice of sex and funk which wouldn’t be out of place on one of Prince’s amazing albums of the 80s and 90s.

The triumphalism may be absent from tonight’s set but it’s been replaced by a sense that Hurts are comfortable with the niche of success they have made their own.

  • Picture via Facebook courtesy Hurts. Tickets here.
  • Enjoyed this review? Follow its author on Twitter @NeilDurham

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