I don’t think I’ve ever been to a party without hearing one or more hits from either The Four Tops or The Temptations. Last night Manchester was treated to one big knees up with a collection of hits from three bands who helped define the sound of Motown.
It is a slightly surreal experience watching a tribute act knocking out the hits of a fictional band who were themselves a covers band.
For many music fans these sort of enthusiastic wannabes seem a bit pointless as they are, always inferior to the real thing, but this lot have just been voted the best tribute act in the UK. For their new show they have combined the more Southern soul sounds of John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd’s movie outlaws with crowd pleasing Motown Hits.
The fireworks were exploding outside but sometimes on bonfire weekend you just want to warm yourself by the fire and reflect on life and love.
Ex-Squeeze frontman Glenn Tilbrook was not explosive but he definitely lit up the stage at the Lowry Theatre.
Most will have experienced The Christians the first time round in the late 80s and early 90s and having loved the band at this time it was a pleasure to hear them again. Standing out even then, from the mass music style at the time The Christians performed songs that were not only soulful by comparison but also made you sit up and think as the social awareness portrayed in the songs was (and still is) very powerful.
Martin Simpson reminded the audience at one point in his show at the Lowry’s Aldridge Studio that he is now officially an OAP. And at 65, he has literally a lifetime of achievement to look back upon, but he clearly isn’t finished yet: he’s working on a new album, and is continuing to bring his unique guitar style to the interpretation of an eclectic range of songs from the folk and roots tradition, and to write songs that reflect on his own experience.
I don’t think I’ve ever been at a concert before where the audience have reacted to something the way they did at tonight’s “Rule The World” concert...but more of that later!
‘Rule The World’ are the UK’s number one Take That tribute band and have been performing as a 3, 4 and 5 piece for ten years. They are quite simply AMAZING.
I’ve never been too bothered about Take That...I can take them or leave them but like a lot of people, I know most of their singles so I was expecting a concert where I’d be able to sing along with some of the songs and have a generally good evening. How wrong I was! I had a BRILLIANT evening and am now completely hoarse!
Regardless of how old you are, one thing we can all agree on is that George Michael and Andre Ridgeley in Wham! was quite possibly one of the greatest musical duos in the history of Pop Music, period. With over 28 million record Sales and a steady stream of number one hits, their albums defined a generation and just as quick as it began-it was as all over; a 4 year window to see pure unadulterated pop joy live on stage and then it was no more, the lucky few will remind you till this day that they were at ‘that’ final concert at Wembley Stadium in 1986 but some of us Wham! Fans didn’t have a chance to even try and get tickets; mainly for me because I wasn’t even born, but I’m still a massive Wham! Fan and love the music, and feel cheated out of what would have probably been the best gig of my life.
Christmas Day, 2016 – following a day of socialising, eating and watching TV, I casually turned to my phone, opened the Twitter app and was met with countless posts about the sudden death of George Michael. On what is supposed to be a joyful occasion, I was devastated to learn of the passing of one of the UK’s most successful artists. I remember thinking back to the two times I’d seen George in concert as part of his 25 Live tour.
The scene was set in the late 1950s, an opening soundbite that sounded like archive recordings, setting the scene and a simple but effect set, just the instruments in a black box style, with a background of twinkling starlight lights.
Despite the blustery night, Buxton Opera House shone brightly and celebrated the wonderful work of Whitney Houston in utter style. ‘Whitney Queen of The Night’ starred the powerhouse voice of Shanice Smith who, along with her fabulous band, and extremely talented backing singers, provided a stunning night of entertainment for all.
Before John Peel became the punk Svengali he was a big folkie even going so far to set up the Dandelion label and releasing three albums by a promising singer-songwriter called Bridget St. John.
Those albums became massive hits in student common rooms across the nation in the early 1970s as folk fans looked for a British Joni Mitchell, and now decades later she is back on the road with her powers pretty much undiminished.
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