Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Glory INXS Deo! by Some Good Fortune, This Is New Hutchence

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Glory INXS Deo! by Some Good Fortune, This Is New Hutchence

Article excerpt


WHEN Michael Hutchence died in 1997, the remaining five members of INXS vowed to carry on. The problem, of course, was that Hutchence was the voice, spirit and sex of INXS.

Australian legend Jimmy Barnes and, of all people, Terence Trent D'Arby, were road-tested but found wanting. Then these desperate men hit on an idea: they would find Hutchence's successor via American reality television and a programme called RockStar: INXS.

The winner, somehow fittingly, was a Canadian Elvis Presley impersonator, JD Fortune, more than a decade younger than each of his new employers.

Unsurprisingly, the album Switch couldn't be more of a dog if each copy came with a gratis bag of Bonio.

So, while Fortune was hired to keep band and brand rolling rather than make terrific records, things hardly augured well for his British debut. Indeed, the opening moments confirmed the worst: a curtain dropped to find the new kid in town sitting cross-legged on the drum riser, camply smoking a cigarette, stroking his comedy facial hair and wearing a jacket, shirt and tie. The former Jason Bennison might as well have unfurled a banner saying I AM NOT MICHAEL HUTCHENCE.

The audience would have been within their rights to unfurl one of their own reading AND YOU NEVER WILL BE.

The band promptly launched into Suicide Blonde, drowning out Fortune's weedy vocals. So far, so Gareth Gates.

And then, for the next 90 minutes, something remarkable happened. Fortune turned his own (and his band's) fortunes around.

Somehow, and if I can scarcely believe it, the band must be in a state of almost catatonic shock, INXS have dropped lucky.

Fortune is the right man in the right place at the right time.

Naturally, he was a ball of enthusiasm, hurling himself around stage like a frisky meteorite and the formal attire was soon replaced by a fate-tempting vest saying "Mr Wrong". …

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