Saturday, February 16, 2013

Betty Wright in Islington


Just seven months after she stormed her way through a two hour set at the Jazz Cafe, Betty Wright was back in London last night, this time before a full house at the Islington Assembly Hall. It was another high energy set, with a mix of well known and not so familiar songs, and she bounded around the stage singing at full voice, occasionally emitting a high pitched squeal, with fine backing from her band and backing singers. The Afro hair-do we saw last time was replaced by long braids and this time she wore a spangly green top. The audience comprised a high proportion of black females who clearly loved her full-on 'women in charge' approach and knew her records by heart. Betty responded with a classy and hugely enjoyable set.
I'm not sure of the name of her first, eighties style soul number, (maybe someone can let me know), but she moved on to the disco flavoured Sinderella and then to one of the crowd favourites, After The Pain. Next was her up tempo early seventies hit Secretary (a number she didn't sing last time), followed by the slower Thank You For The Many Things You Do, her big New Orleans style hit Shoorah Shoorah and Keep Love New, a hit for her in the eighties. An extended 15 minute version of Tonight Is The Night followed - to the delight of women in the audience, with some mid-song rapping, excursions into I'll Take You There and even a bit of on-stage drumming, before moving on to her classic Clean Up Woman, which once again went down a storm. Finally it was another crowd favourite No Pain No Gain and then what seemed to be an impromptu encore of Smother Me With Your Love.
Betty has been around for 47 years and it's a mark of how successful she has been over the years that most of the audience weren't even born when her career started. Last night's show was sold out and she is scheduled to appear again tomorrow. She's welcome in London any time.

Here's Betty's excellent backing group, comprising two of her daughters and one 'adopted' daughter, she said.
 
Support act last night was a young British singer Natasha Watts who has a new single out next week called Born To Be A Star. I didn't see much of her but she could be one to watch.

 
 

1 Comments:

At 2:36 am , Blogger Dominic McLeman said...

Pretty sure that the first track was 'In the middle of the game (don't change the play)' from Betty Wright The movie album. Fantastic show.

 

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