Until the band embarked on stage some 25 minutes after the last race of the day, I had completely forgotten that in the mid to late nineties, I often confused Texas lead singer Sharleen Spiteri with Natalie Imbruglia. With that in mind, when the evening didn’t begin with a crowd-pleasing rendition of ‘Torn’, I’ll confess I was a little disappointed.
After I came to my senses and realised which band I was watching, my disappointment turned to mild contentment as Spiteri and crew worked through a string of top 20 hits that I had for the most part, dispelled from my memory.
Kicking off with ‘I Don’t Want A Lover’, I was genuinely surprised at the level of crowd engagement as there appeared to be a decent number of authentic Texas fans in attendance, singing along to every word with joyful abandon. Either that or they had smashed into 12/1 winner Ski Blast in the final race and were suitably inebriated and therefore chanting mindlessly.
The hits kept coming with ‘Halo’, ‘Black Eyed Boy’ and ‘Once In A Lifetime’ keeping the crowd bouncing throughout and as far as I could tell, the dreaded ‘new material’ was foregone or at least mercifully kept to a minimum.
Spiteri frolicked around the stage and appeared to be enjoying the performance, speaking to the crowd on a number of occasions. Though myself and the people around me could not make out what she was saying aside from the odd ‘Doncaster’ ‘Glasgow’ or ‘F***’, it would be unfair to blame this on the sound system as it was more a case of a broad accent lost in translation.
On to the finale, as the band built to a feel-good finish of ‘Inner Smile’ and ‘Say What You Want’. The former predictably saw the biggest sing a long of the evening with men, women and children of all ages chanting along to the catchy chorus. In a pensive moment, I deduced that had the song been named simply ‘Yeah’ after its chorus backing refrain, it doubtless would have spent a few weeks at number 1 back in the day. Opportunity missed.
After ‘Say What You Want’, most in attendance believed that they were free to go, Sharleen and the Texies had other ideas however when they returned to the stage and launched into a cover of the Elvis classic ‘Suspicious Minds’, that could only be described as ‘faithful’. I managed to catch the first minute or so of said cover before one of our party became upset/too drunk (delete as applicable) and tearfully insisted that we left immediately. I bet if you had told Texas they would have brought the Doncaster crowd to tears by the end of the set, they’d have taken that…