Star Interview: Pat and Greg Kane

Hue and Cry
Hue and Cry
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It is a good job that brothers Pat and Greg Kane get on.

While some people spend their time having family spats with their siblings, Pat and Greg are still going strong as two halves of the celebrated pop duo, Hue And Cry.

Born in Scotland, the pair had their musical heyday in the 1980s with songs such as Labour Of Love, Looking For Linda and Violently.

But, nearly 30 years after the release of their first hit single, they are still busily writing and recording. They are also set to perform at Northampton’s Royal and Derngate on October 24, in a concert alongside The Christians and Go West.

Pat said: “Quite a few times we bumped into The Christians and Go West and there was a great meeting of minds. We looked at our demographics and thought ‘these three audiences might overlap’. During the concert, we will do an acoustic set in the middle and Go West will see the show out at the end.”

Pat, who is also a known journalist and outspoken activist for an independent Scotland, said the concert will include the favourite Hue and Cry songs they know the public want to hear.

He said: “We have written about 300 songs so there is lots of choice, but only a few people would really know. What we often do is look at YouTube as there are lots of people who upload stuff from there. It can be a numbers game. If you are doing seven or eight songs, we would pick the ones people really want to hear. We do bring in some new songs as we have to keep pushing forward.”

Despite decades of working so closely as brothers, Pat and Greg seem to have maintained a close working and personal relationship.

Pat explained: “We worked it out in public when perhaps we should have had family therapy, but we got over that and other things become more important than what divides you. I have children, they are 16 and 25, but my brother has just had his first baby, so he makes use of my wisdom and scars.

“We have always been quite attentive with each other. He knows what I’m going to do and I follow what he is going to do; there is an emotional, psychological dimension to it and there is a lot of emotion involved with music.

“I always had an interest in words and ideas. My oldest memory was of my father singing my tears away by performing Frank Sinatra songs. Music is beyond my rational mind.”

As well as writing tunes, Hue and Cry are perhaps best remembered for the political subtexts to some of their songs. The 1987 song, Labour of Love, is well known to be a critique of Thatcherism.

Pat said: “It is quite an interesting song as it is from the viewpoint of a working-class Tory voter, who realises there has been too much pain for too little gain.

“The chorus uses the language of the Labour movement. It actually analyses the Thatcherist mentality, but it is a subtle song. It is not easy to get a political song on at the best of times, but British music is quite good at that. It is not as if there was no precedent. So, we made it, but there was subtlety in the language. It is better to go for an individual’s story. If you are going to be honest, you have to write about people, not as a political sceptic but through the individual. You have to have exact questions on power and money, they run through people’s lives as love and family do.”

Hue and Cry released their most recent album, Hot Wire, last year and do not seem to have any plans to slow down.

Pat said: “When you are at a stage of knowing what you are doing in life and you think you know what you are doing, it would be a crime not to keep making music if you are at that level of knowing what makes a great song and great groove; probably the best is yet to come creatively.”