Friday 07 December 2012
The Magic Of Motown: Berry Gordy Jnr's Dream Remembered @ The Brighton Centre
American performers they're loud, they're brash. But, as any concertgoer knows, on stage an American artist will out-perform a British artist every time.
Take, for instance, forty-five years ago. America wowed the world with tightly-choreographed concert shows by talented Tamla Motown artists The Four Tops, Diana Ross and the Supremes and The Temptations.
The best the UK could offer was Lulu, Dusty Springfield and the Bee Gees. Great artists but not a patch on their American counterparts when it came to performing live.
“It goes back to what we’re taught in stage school,” says Florida-raised singer Andre Lejaune, star of hit concert show The Magic of Motown.
“The importance of establishing a rapport with the audience is lesson number one.
“You’re forever gauging their reaction. If what you’re doing isn’t gelling, you switch. They’ve paid their money to come and see you, so there must be something in your repertoire that’ll please them.”
Andre puts this invaluable grounding to good use as part of theatre box office smash The Magic of Motown.
Featuring slick male harmonies and stunning female vocals, the production honours The Temptations, Diana Ross, The Four Tops, Stevie Wonder and many more Tamla Motown legends.
It was not just the distinctive Motown sound created by founder Berry Gordy Jnr back in 1959 that set the label’s artists apart from all other artists of the era.
For mass market appeal, artistes’ images were carefully controlled from dress and choreography, right down to their manners.
The Magic of Motown demands the same exacting standards from its performers.
“And with dozens of costume changes shoe-horned into each show,“ says Andre, “at times there can be just as much going on backstage as there is under the spotlights!”
The Magic of Motown authentically brings to life million-selling hit song following million-selling hit song in one spectacular stage show celebrating the world’s most popular record label.
“The guys have been together for some time now,” says Andre, “and we tour the world with our show.
“However, we know all about the British concert scene – our first break was a gig at Butlins, Skegness!”
Today The Magic of Motown concert show starring Andre is recognised as the UK’s number one Motown concert show on tour in the UK playing huge arenas and massive open-air festivals.
“We still rehearse once a week – making sure our moves are on point and harmonies spot on,” says Andre. “We’d never want to let an audience down.”
That American grounding raises its head once again.
The Magic Of Motown @ The Brighton Centre on Saturday 8th December. See brightoncentre.co.uk for more details.
by: Mike Cobley
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