Review: Magic of Motown delivers a five-star show at the Ipswich Regent

The Magic of Motown

The Magic of Motown - Credit: Archant

Perhaps it was fitting that The Four Tops and The Temptations were performing at the O2 in London on the same night as the Magic of Motown at the Ipswich Regent on. It certainly seemed to notch up the nostalgia factor.

The Magic of Motown, Ipswich Regent. Pic: Matt Stott

The Magic of Motown, Ipswich Regent. Pic: Matt Stott - Credit: Archant

Only two original members are still alive, one from each group, but no doubt they would have saluted the captivating and charismatic performance in Suffolk’s county town on Thursday.

The eight singers, backed by a flawless four-piece live band, only had one wish: to entertain. And entertain they did. The vocals, the choreography, the enthusiasm and energy, the flamboyant impersonations, and the sheer range and number of songs were relentlessly impressive. The whole show seemed an extra gear above their last visit here three years ago.

Ipswich Regent audiences are not renowned for getting off their feet, let alone dancing on the ceiling. But a few were hooked away from their seats towards the end of the first half, and mid-way through the second period, a good third of the audience were helping to recreate some of the greatest soul pops ever made. Berry Gordy, the entrepreneur who launched Motown Records in Detroit in 1959, would have been proud.

The night started with the lyrics “It was the third of September” (Papa Was a Rolling Stone, by The Temptations) and it turned out to be a night we would all remember – yes we will.

Memorable moments included renditions of Heard It Through The Grapevine (Marvin Gaye), Standing In The Shadows Of Love (The Four Tops), a superb a cappella performance of Tracks Of My Tears (Smokey Robinson and The Miracles) and a glorious showstopper of My Girl (The Temptations). There were also hits from Lionel Richie, the Supremes and The Jackson 5.

The Reach Out tour is heading to the likes of London, Liverpool and Oxford over the next 12 months (Ipswich was the third show), and audiences can be rest assured that their expectations will be met. Motown is a particularly fecund genre of music and the producers should be exalted for encapsulating 25 years of the label into a single night of undeniable love and happiness.