Mowtown magic comes to town

BERRY Gordy's great skill was that he could spot a star and knew how to pick a hit. Last night we were treated to more than two hours of Motown memories, every one a classic with the crowd dancing and singing along.

The Magic of Motown - Ipswich Regent 4th April

BERRY Gordy's great skill was that he could spot a star and knew how to pick a hit. Last night we were treated to more than two hours of Motown memories, every one a classic with the crowd dancing and singing along.

Right from the horn intro of the first song, “Sir Duke”, to the wailing finale of the sax on “Dancing On The Ceiling”, the audience clapped and cheered and were clearly up for a good time.

The band were a seven piece with a punchy horn section that included trombone, trumpet and saxophone that really came into it's own on songs like “Get Ready” and “How Sweet It Is”.

The show was divided up into song for the girls “My Guy”, “Touch Me In The Morning”, and songs for the boys; “I Can't Help Myself”, “Tears Of A Clown”. During the first half the girls mainly covered The Supremes and unfortunately suffered from some poor sound quality, but this was rectified in time for the boys to cover Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder.

The highlight of the first part for me was their accapella version of “Under The Boardwalk” by the Drifters. Before the interval the band finished with a trio of songs made famous by the Four Tops and these allowed the boys to show off their slick dance routines and another set of costumes.

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After the break the girls started out with some more Diana Ross followed by the Martha Reeves classis “Jimmy Mack”.

Back came the boys with renewed vigour and a funky section that included The Commodores “Brick House” and Lionel Ritchie's “All Night Long” where the horns section got a real work out. The crowd were soon on their feet again and this is where they stayed until the end of the show.

No Motown review would be complete without a nod in the direction of Michael Jackson and we were treated to some dodgy afros and three tracks from the early Jackson 5 song book; “I Want You Back”, “ABC”, and “Dancing Machine”.

But for me the best was kept until last with three hits from the Temptations that included a fantastic saxophone solo on “Ain't To Proud To Beg”.

It's great that the Regent puts on shows like this. I'm sure the crowd went away happy and it will prompt me to drag out some of my crackly old 45's and relive the magic of Motown again.

Mark Westall.

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