Posts Tagged ‘Motown’

The Magic of Motown

Friday, February 18th, 2011

Recently went with The Wife to the matinee of the tribute show ‘The Magic of Motown’ at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre.

I was surprised how much I enjoyed the whole thing, despite the fact there were more black people on stage than in the audience as well as couple of  historical ‘mis-steps’ (Diana Ross & The Jackson 5 (then latterly called simply The Jacksons’) respectively recorded ‘Why Do Fools Fall In Love’ and ‘Blame It On The Boogie’ after they left Motown).

It wasn’t a simple or even really faithful impersonation, but an attempt to re-create the energy & spirit that changed Berry Gordy’s label from successful local independent label to cultural phenomenon. To that end, in my mind (& clearly to the rest of the audience), they succeeded,  in spite of some rather dodgy footwork from the guys. All in all, there were a wealth of spirited performances, none more so than the principal male, Andre Lejume. The Wife was concerned that I wasn’t enjoying the show but I was not only enjoying it, but also entering ‘trainspotter mode’, watching the (very talented) musicians play – it was the first time I’d been able to see so much of the music I grew up played live – I wanted to see how it was done, how the notes were physically played.

The only fly in the ointment was the announcement we wouldn’t get our programme signed – a reversal of an earlier notice. This was due to having to turn around the production for the evening performance. Despite this, a good time was had by all.

Teena Marie, RIP

Friday, January 7th, 2011

Still in shock after hearing the news that Teena Marie passed away on Boxing Day (Dec 26th). I know the story’s been well covered & loads of people have tweeted about it, but that still doesn’t make it less of a shock.

Proper soul & funk-heads will be far more knowlegeable about her life & work, so I just mention a few personal memories involving her music:

  • Finding a mint copy of ‘Behind The Groove’ on 12-inch in (the now defunct) Boogaloo Records in Leicester, thinking whoever let that one go was a right muppet
  • Dropping said tune at parties – result!
  • Being shocked at seeing video footage of her on Soul Train finding out this Motown powerhouse was a short (ish) white woman.
  • Going through her back catalogue (courtesy of Steve & D from Samebeat Records) & freaking out at some of the stuff she’d done.
  • Sneaking in some of her tracks during the very early days of Stump Juice.
  • Realising just how many people covered her tunes.

The woman was an extremely gifted singer songwriter & producer & I’m saddened she’s no longer with us. That said, we are fortunate that the musical legacy she’s left behind means she will still move & inspire others, so she will never be forgotten.

Gone but never forgotten.................