No band calling themselves Trevor, Brian or Colin has ever enjoyed conspicuous success (we still remember Kenny round these parts, of course, but that was the exception that proves the rule). Names are important - you wouldn't want to mount an assault on chartland with only the name Colin to cover up your nakedness.
Few people would disagree with the commercial wisdom behind singer-songwriter Colin Vearncombe's decision to crouch behind the anonymous legend Black, even if it is a bit of a misnomer. Black isn't a band as such, just Colin.
A Liverpudlian, Vearncombe is in the unusual position of being a household name in every pop market except Britain. The 1987 album Wonderful Life (on the independent Ugly Man label) sold over a million copies worldwide and the title song made the Top Ten in most of the European charts. Not that British critics let Black's popularity elsewhere shift them from their opinion that Vearncombe's one-track pop despondency was not to be listened to with any seriousness. True, a consistent vein of wounded-in-love angst does feature in much of Black's classily scored songs, but since when did any adult-orientated pop concern itself with much else?
No, critically neglected Colin was robbed, and the current live set - chosen from new album Comedy (A & M) and supplemented for the tour by a lush assortment of session players - has sufficient variety of both mood and musical styles to wake up all us dozy Brits who have overlooked him. A thinking person's Rick Astley who is big in Spain. And Germany, Holland, Belgium...