Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Lee Fields in Islington

It seems that retro soul has quite a following these days. The Islington Assembly Hall was crowded last night with a mostly young audience enjoying the very sixties style soul of Lee Fields and his band the Expressions. Like Sharon Jones and Charles Bradley with Daptone, Lee has recorded a couple of retro soul albums of original material in the last few years for the Truth and Soul label - Faithful Man and My World. But he is a soul survivor whose first recording was back in the sixties and who had a hit called Let's Talk It Over in the seventies, so he can lay claim to being the genuine article.
His act is a high energy cross between Otis Redding and James Brown and most of his numbers were upbeat soul songs, but with a few slower songs included to give him a chance to cool down a bit. His set included Still Hanging On, Ladies, Wish You Were Here, Money Is King, Who Do You Love, You're The Kind Of Girl, Faithful Man, Honey Dove and, as an encore, Love Comes and Goes (check out the YouTube clip) - all from the two recent albums.The crowd loved him - there was a young very tall long haired guy in front of me who couldn't keep still (bastard!) and you can see why he's popular. His is authentic sixties style soul and it's as if the decade never ended and Otis lived on.
Lee was my third live music gig in five days. On Sunday I went to the Scatchers pub in Godalming with John Spencely to catch Jackie Lynton, fresh from his success at the 2Is gig in January. As ever, he was best on rock and roll numbers such as Reelin' and Rockin' and Mess of Blues and adequate on the blues numbers, interspersed with his usual blue jokes. But after a while the set descended into a Status Quo tribute so we made our excuses and left.


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