Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1101

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CAMEO: Indig02 18/04/2009

CAMEO: INDIG02 18/04/2009
CAMEO: INDIG02 18/04/2009 CAMEO: INDIGO2 18/04/2009 CAMEO: INDIG02 18/04/2009 CAMEO: INDIG02 18/04/2009 CAMEO: INDIG02 18/04/2009 CAMEO: INDIG02 18/04/2009 CAMEO: INDIG02 18/04/2009 CAMEO: INDIG02 18/04/2009 CAMEO: INDIG02 18/04/2009 CAMEO: INDIG02 18/04/2009 CAMEO: INDIG02 18/04/2009 CAMEO: INDIG02 18/04/2009 CAMEO: INDIG02 18/04/2009 CAMEO: INDIG02 18/04/2009

Kool Larry and the gang were back in old london town tonight, and I felt very lucky and excited to be picked to review this, there is a god after all!

My only concern was how were they going to create that party atmosphere vibe wise in the huge indig02? Earlier in the year
I'd witnessed Eric Roberson, although a fantastic gig it didn't exactly fill the space - you need bods to get a groove going in this gaff!

Have no fear, the fans did not desert them, the place was jumping and in full party mode when I finally got there (no jubilee line that night!!) A mighty long absence from these shores had not punctured their reputation and rightly so! Larry Blackmon shouted from the roof tops "WE LOVE PLAYING IN ENGLAND!!" You will of course, remember they broke here way before hitting the USA charts so we have a special place in the bands' hearts (hey that rhymes!)

The proceedings kicked off at 9.30 on the dot and there they were sauntering on stage dressed in the funkiest attire (Red Dwarf meets EW&F circa 1980) and as for Larry, I just couldn't avert my eyes to that ever expansive bright red cod piece staring you in the face! Dress code aside, Cameo were here and they meant business. They rolled out the funk as slick as ever bolstered by the toughest rythym section you gonna hear all year! Solid uncomplicated groove ridden drumming coupled with the memorable tight slap bass lines and sensual keyboard syncopation, glorious stuff!

The sound was superb, so I've got to give a big shout to the mixing engineers (unsung heroes for sure!) who made the evening sonically speaking. It was the catalyst and the perfect vehicle for Cameo to slay us with their 70's and 80's classics. Larry&Co wasted no time in executing their brilliant songwriting skills. 'Candy' got such a massive reception they just rewinded and played it again! And why not? If DJ's can why not bands? The 70's stuff I particularly enjoyed such as 'Alligator Woman' but that era seemed to draw a blank with the balcony section it was curious indeed but not at all affecting the band's sheer enthusiam whilst mining their hefty treasure trove of a back catalogue.

It's really very hard to believe it was 25 years ago when they released the kooky and pulsingly catchy 'She's Strange.' What a gas to revisit these times and revel in the return of the shimmering heavy mainstream hitters who influenced a whole new generation of R&B, Hip Hop and Rock artists. Very heart warming as well, to see they've outlasted most of their contempories and have got a new lease of life into the bargain.

'Word up' was naturally saved for the encore as was 'Flirt' sneaking up and sweeping us off our feet. The crowd just went into meltdown and then boof! They were gone outta here! The climax over, prompted stamping of feet and other acts of hysterical behaviour. What I'd just seen was a consummate performance assuredly fuelling up the flames of funk that need to be fanned every so often to keep it alive and well. Cameo hold the chalice graciously and with a rapturous return to form brought so much heart and soul to the capital! Thank you C-A-M-E-O!! Inspirational stuff- Just don't leave it another 5 years now will you guys!!

All photos care of Romain Kedochim. For more visit ROMAIN PHOTOGRAPHY
Words Emrys Baird

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