Review: Showman Lionel Richie brings all the hits and hilarity to a sell-out crowd at Weston Homes stadium, Colchester

Lionel Richie on stage in Colchester

Lionel Richie on stage in Colchester

“What the hell is this? You call this a summer evening? Welcome to Cold-chester!”

Fans enjoying the show

Fans enjoying the show

He had a point.

It was a little bit damp and chilly in parts, especially for the Alabama-born Richie who couldn’t quite believe he could see his own breathe as he sang from the piano - in late June.

But shrugging off the weather - because quite frankly we’re over it - it wasn’t long before the rain macs were shimmied off and the wet feet were grinding a little dancing dip.

Richie was in truly impressive form - better than he should be after 45 years in music, first as lead singer of the Commodores, then as one of the biggest solo artists of the 80s.

Lionel Richie

Lionel Richie

He still has a fine voice, and even finer moves. He steamed through nearly two hours of hits - pretty darn impressive for a man of 67.

The show swung between raucous R&B and chocolate-box ballads - all of it fantastic.

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His party pieces, like Dancing on the Ceiling, Running with the Night and my favourite My Destiny, were greeted with the loudest roars and - awkward, but enthusiastic - seat dancing.

As well as his hearty solo back catalogue, the crowd were also treated to a clutch of Commodore classics like Easy, Three Times a Lady and Brick House - a nod to the three generations of fans in the audience. The third made up of children and teens who grew up listening to his greats.

He easily interacted with the crowds, with his giant smile, and his hilarious quips. Recounting how Diana Ross consistently refuses to join him on stage to perform their 1981 duet Endless Love, he asks the females to sing her part. “You’re Diana, and I’m … me,” he says scampishly, as his fans collapse once again into laughter and squeals.

His five-piece band oozed with talent and fun, and you could see the level of intimacy and friendship after months performing together.

It was truly memorable evening - a real treat for his Cold-chester fans. Richie proved himself as king of the stage.