Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1099

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Martha Reeves & The Vandellas: Concorde 2, Brighton 04/06/10

Martha Reeves & The Vandellas: Concorde 2, Brighton 04/06/10  Photo: Kevin Melville
Martha Reeves & The Vandellas: Concorde 2, Brighton 04/06/10  Photo: Kevin Melville Martha Reeves & The Vandellas: Concorde 2, Brighton 04/06/10  Photo: Kevin Melville

It was hotter than July (thanks Stevie), the venue was packed and steaming. Adrenalin was running high, people were laughing, talking and dancing â yep, everyone was in party mood.

Motown music was played back to back â Four Tops, Kim Weston, Chris Clark, Supremes, Temptations, Marvin, and on and on - so, without doubt, this was definitely the place to be on Friday, 4 June. And this was the setting for yet another sell out performance from Martha, Lois and Delphine at the Concorde which, by now, must be their favourite home in East Sussex. It reminded me of Dingwalls in Camden where I also saw Martha perform back in the day.

Anyway, as the temperature rose, the band walked on stage before Martha Reeves was introduced to a deafening welcome from an audience that crossed the generations. She opened with the Van Morrison song 'Wild Night' from her first MCA album, before releasing it was a single in 1974. On came her sisters, and noted singers in their own right - Lois and Delphine - and the dancing began. 'Iâm Ready For Love' with its frenetic beat, and the clipped rhythm of 'Nowhere To Run' pulsated through the venue. In between these stompers, Martha slowed the pace with one of her best loved songs 'Come And Get These Memories' and the ultra-emotive 'Love (Makes Me Do Foolish Things)'.

No concert would be complete without that plea to 'Jimmy Mack' and whenâs he cominâ back, nor âThird Finger, Left Handâ with its chant-like melody. Martha then took us on another journey, into 'Home To You', the title track of her 2001 cd. She wrote the song while touring over here, following the birth of her son Eric. (More about this cd in her interviews to be published later on). She paid tribute to the late Michael Jackson with 'I Want You Back' with J5 choreography and shrill vocals: great fun. Then to her dear friend Dusty Springfield with 'A Love Like Yours (Donât Come Knocking Every Day)'. Two more songs to go â the appropriately titled 'Heatwave' (recorded in the winter!) and of course, Martha and the Vandellasâ version of the Mick Jagger/David Bowie original 'Dancing In The Street'!!! (I kid you!!!!) Well, Concorde 2 was shaking, the floor was rocking, the ceiling bounced back the cacophony of voices. It was last night of the Proms all over again! The staying power of this song is absolutely staggering; from the opening bars, everyone has that desire to jump up, arms in the air - and sing âcalling out around the world, are you ready for a brand new beat?â

It was an incredible evening. I hadnât been in a club like this for several years, and certainly hadnât witnessed Martha being close on with her audience. Throughout the show she chatted, recognised people by name, and updated us on things in her life. It was personal, yet public. And the love shared was unconditional.

Coming soon.... Sharon Davis' interview's Martha Reeves, online and in our limited edition VINTAGE magazine coming in August.

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