Saturday, May 12, 2012

Lovers Rock in Islington

The black British soft reggae genre of music known as Lovers Rock spawned a number of successful singers in the late seventies and early eighties. Melodic and soft-edged, it's perfect for smooching or just swaying to the beat. Two of its foremost exponents were Janet Kay (top photo) and Carroll Thompson (lower photo), who both had major Lovers Rock hits, and their show at the Islington Assembly Hall last night showed that they are still at the top of the game - and that the genre is far from dead. The mood was mellow and there were smiles on the faces of the audience - the majority of whom were female, many of them clearly reliving their youth - as they swayed and sang along.
Janet and Carroll alternated throughout, each doing two or three numbers before passing to the other, culminating - to the crowd's delight - with their biggest hits - Carroll's Hopelessly In Love and Janet's 1978 smash Silly Games (check out the Youtube clips below). Carroll's set included Sing Me A Love Song, Just A Little Bit, Yesterday, Touch Me In The Morning, Crazy For You, Phyllis Dillon's Don't Stay Away, I'm So Sorry and Simply In Love - all of them well received by the enthusiastic crowd who sang along at every opportunity. Janet included You Bring The Sun Out, Minnie Ripperton's Loving You, Missing You, Silhouettes, Billy Stewart's I Do Love You and Sittin' In The Park and Rock the Rhythm. Both of them have strong voices and the band and female backing singers were sympathetic. Overall, this was a laid back affair and the crowd went home happy, remembering perhaps the first loves of their lives.


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