The Real Thing at Canvas, Bournemouth 17th March 2016

This was fab night out from the energetic band, working hard to get the crowd of mostly 40-somethings and 50-somethings dancing and cheering in a terrific venue setting (the former Bumbles). Liverpool lads all, Chris Amoo still handled the lead vocals well, assisted by main-audience communicator and brother Eddie Amoo and Dave Smith. Now into year 44 of their career, I was there for the first single I recall Vicious Circle (I feel sure it was first played on Fluff Freeman’s show in 1972) though obviously all the tracks performed stuck with the late 70’s golden disco soul period, including that trio of crowd-pleasers You To Me Are Everything, Can’t By Without You, and Can You Feel The Force. They did a handful of lesser hits, and with a great backing band, funktastic, and a fab soul lead from eddie for Children Of The Ghetto, but also kept the party moving fast with a number of 70’s disco covers.

While I would have liked to hear a few of the missing minor hits and some early stuff, it wasn’t really about that, it as about having a fun time, and they went down fabulously, energy-levels for 60-somethings (as I approach the big 6-0 myself) pretty impressive. The last time I caught them, it was backstage at the Radio One roadshow in 1986 as they were going through a remixed hit revival and I was appearing as a contestant on Mike Read’s Pop Quiz on the actual radio – he took the piss out of my jumper, and I won a mug and sweatshirt, but I managed to get some sneaky pics of The Real Thing from the back of the stage. Got some new ones now, too! If you get the chance, go to see them, it’s a great retro night out.

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