Motown treats this October and November 2009
So, I'm listening to 'Motown 50' on my favourite online "radio" www.we7.com [man, those guys should be paying us for all this plugging! - Ed], I start thinking; 'hmmm... Motown... there's a few Motown gigs coming-up. And so is born the inspiration for this little article!
Anyway, October and November see a host of Motown stars over in our green-and-pleasant land, some of whom are over on a "50th Anniversary" shindig, the others for other reasons - like their "Farewell tour" if we're talking about soul legend Gladys Knight.
Gladys Knight was last over in the UK in 2006, with a short tour taking in a number of large concert halls. This time (and going from the name of her tour, the last time), she's going large, for an arena tour starting in the Manchester Evening News Arena on 6th October. The tour will feature Tito Jackson and his band as the support act, as he performs a tribute to his late brother Michael Jackson. On the opening night, there's an added bonus in the shape of silky-voiced Dionne Warwick who is a special guest just for the Manchester date, as far as we can tell. Tickets for all nights start at £40 + booking fee - on sale now.
In November, London plays host to not one, two, three, or four, but five nights of Motown Magic, featuring the Former Ladies of the Supremes, Jack Ashford and his Funk Brothers, Thelma Houston and the Divas of Motown show. Tickets are on sale now, priced at £40. You can also catch Thelma in the more intimate Jazz Café the night before - tickets: £20.
Monday 9th November sees "Tambourine Man" Jack Ashford play a "Jamnin' with Jack" gig at the Borderline, backed by his Funk Brothers. Tickets cost £18.50 + booking fee.
Tuesday 10th November sees the Jazz Café host the "Former Ladies of the Supremes", AKA former Supremes singers Scherrie Payne and Lynda Laurence, with singer Freddi Poole completing the threesome. Backing band on the night will be The Funk Brothers and Jack Ashford. Tickets cost £25 + booking fee.
On Wednesday 11th November, Motown singer/ songwriter Brenda Holloway takes to the stage of the Jazz Café in Camden, along with blues singer Mable John and Motown's first white signing: Chris Clark, ably backed by Jack Ashford and his Funk Brothers. Tickets cost £25, on sale now.
Finally, on Friday 13th in the Hammersmith Apollo, the "Divas of Motown" take residence, with Thelma Houston, Mable John, Chris Clark and Brenda Holloway, backed by... you guessed it, Mr Ashford and his Funk Brothers. Tickets cost £40 and are on sale now. All prices + booking fee.
I'm not quite sure of the significance of November, since Motown's 50th birthday would have taken place in April of this year, but I'm not complaining!
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