Child rockers Hanson are growing up

By | June 6, 2011

London Evening Standard

hanson

Fourteen years on from their infectious super-hit Mmmbop, former child pop-rockers Hanson are taking over London this week with a sold-out five-night residency.

The opening show was devoted to the 10 million-selling debut Middle of Nowhere, by far their biggest album. Cruelly, drummer Zac Hanson’s music career peaked before he reached puberty but the three brothers fromOklahoma (now aged 25 to 30) have been touring solidly since. Their fifth record, Shout It Out, has just been released here.

Fortunately, there was no new music to endure at the first night – obsessive fans will get that treat with Hanson’s latest album in full on Friday – as this was all about Nineties pop-rock. The mature Hanson’s rendition of Mmmbop still had a gloriously soulful quality, even if they had to sing it in a lower key than in 1997. They acknowledged the passage of time amusingly, though, with Zac trying to channel his “inner 11-year-old”.

Hanson are a defiantly unfashionable, clean-cut group, and there were no great surprises, but they deserve recognition for their musicianship.

Keyboard player and vocalist Taylor was an electrifying presence during the funk-rock of Speechless.

However, the only time they really cut loose as a band was for an encore of the Spencer Davis Group’s Gimme Some Lovin’. Perhaps the brothers’ obvious appreciation for classic rock and R&B is what keeps them going, although the fact that screaming girls still turn up to gigs probably helps, too.