THEY played for just under an hour, yet Scottish rockers Texas left the crowd baying for more on Arthur’s Day in Limerick.
The multi-million selling band, fronted by Sharleen Spitieri - once billed the Queen of Britpop - were revealed as the ‘surprise act’ playing in Limerick for Arthur’s Day, with Smyth’s Bar the chosen venue.
The bar was selected from over 20 venues to host the special headline act, with regulars and fans of Smyth’s voting for the right to do so.
While last year saw Limerick play host to a full-scale gig in the Milk Market - headlined by Calvin Harris - Guinness decided this year to allow just one act to travel Limerick to play the surprise gig.
“It is part of the surprise on the night that they just turn up,” a spokesperson for the Arthur’s Day celebrations had said in advance.
“However, I can say Limerick will definitely be getting something special on the night,” she promised.
Word leaked out in the afternoon that Smyth’s would be the place to be for the act, with rumours doing the rounds around Limerick that Mumford and Sons were to be the surprise act.
However, if there was disappointment among the massive crowd gathered in Smyth’s, they did not display anything other than joy at Texas’ sudden appearance on stage shortly after 7pm last Thursday.
Cover bands Free Beer and Escapade had warmed up the crowd before the six piece Scottish rockers took to a stage not dissimilar from the one they played their debut show on in the University of Dundee in 1988.
Since then, the band have sold in excess of 20 million albums, and they did not let the gathered masses down in Limerick, pumping out a greatest hits laden set.
Playing just one new song - Detroit City - in a snappy ten song set, Texas give the crowd what they wanted, hits such as Halo, When We Are Together, Say What You Want and Black Eyed Boy proving the rockers still imperious after 25 years in the business.
Spitieri was undoubtedly the star of the show, the Scot playfully wringing and eliciting a lusty singalong from the crowd throughout the set, gently admonishing them by declaring: “yes, she can still sing”.
Finishing with Inner Smile and an upbeat version of Suspicious Minds, Texas ducked out a back door, bound for Galway and another surprise gig, fans, new and old alike, delirious in their wake.