The review’s a little late, I know, but everyone’s (read: “my”) favourite student band #Tags released their latest song recently, a cover of George Michael’s number-one single ‘Careless Whisper’. Recorded as a free Valentine’s Day (or Singles’ Awareness Day, depending on your situation) download, the cover was released on the group’s YouTube channel on February 4th and was distributed via their Facebook page starting the following week.
The song, originally written by Michael and fellow Wham! member Andrew Ridgeley, has been performed by #Tags brothers Patrick and Ciarán McManus since the early days of the band when the duo performed acoustic gigs in Southampton. The new recording marks a slight change from the tone of the original song, known for its prominent seductive saxophone melody, which in the hands of the London four-piece has been given a more funky styling. Gone is the smooth woodwind sound, replaced by powerfully harmonised guitars from the McManus duo which cut through the rhythm section with impressive force and emotion. Pat’s signature vocals drive the song intently, harmonised as usual in the chorus with his brother which makes for fine listening.
Also welcome on the track is the obligatory cowbell, a funky and well executed guitar solo in the middle of the track, and another of the band’s trademarks — the key change! The track ends with a rendition of the original “bah-bah” outro, an often forgotten part of the song which finishes it off perfectly. Exquisitely adapted, well produced and professionally performed — #Tags have done it again.