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Thursday, 20 October 2011 (3019830)
Rhythm Kings and Mary Wilson - pop music at its best
by Guest

AN impressive crowd ventured onto a Promenade battered by gales and lashed rain to see the most talented member of the Rolling Stones, accompanied by his eight-piece all-star band, the Rhythm Kings.

Bill Wyman wandered onstage to explain they would be playing an eclectic selection of music ranging across the fields of jazz, blues, standards, R & B, rockabilly, soul, skiffle and rock’n’roll.

The show opened with George Fame playing a few bars of Gracie Field’s ‘Sally’, insisting he came from Leigh not Rochdale and he used to come to Southport for his holidays as a kid.

Highspots for me were England’s top guitarist, Albert Lee, turning to skiffle for ‘Muleskinner Blues’; Shakin’ Stevens’ ex-keyboard player, Geraint Watkins, with a soulful version of Irma Thomas’s ‘It’s Raining’; the glamorous Beverly Skeete performing a great version of Jackie Wilson’s ‘I’ll be Satisfied’ and Mary Wilson, making a quick return to Southport, sounding as good as Diana Ross on three old Supremes hits.

The first half of the show, which closed with the quietly watching Wyman stepping into the limelight to sing Chuck Berry’s ‘You Never Can Tell’, then the second half followed the same pattern except Mary Wilson chose to do numbers from her new CD as a change, she said, from her Motown days. The finale came far too soon with Mary Wilson leading the band in a rousing version of ‘Dancing in the Street’ and the crowd were shouting for more as the lights came up.

It was the pop music equivalent of a classical concert played by as talented a group of musicians as you would find anywhere in Britain.

Star Rating: 8 out of 10. Pop music at its best.


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