Impressions in Islington
Two of the current trio - Sam Gooden and Fred Cash - are originals from the Curtis Mayfield era of the 1960s and were soberly dressed in dark three piece suits. By contrast Reggie Torian, a relative newcomer who has only been a member of the group on and off since 1973, wore a spangly silver jacket and tie (see photo below), prompting one member of the audience to ask him who his tailor is.
The trio went effortlessly through their early numbers, beginning with Gypsy Woman from 1961 and followed by It's Alright, Talkin' About My Baby, I'm So Proud, Keep On Pushing, I've Been Trying, Woman's Got Soul, the gospel number People Get Ready and You've Been Cheatin'. All of them were delivered in perfect harmony, their voices soaring to the high notes with ease. Next came Gene Chandler's Nothing Can Stop Me, which led into their civil rights era songs, including We're A Winner, I Loved and Lost, This Is My Country and Choice of Colors.
The Impressions have recently recorded a 7 inch vinyl single for Daptone records, produced by Binky Griptite, a cover of Major Lance's Rhythm, a Curtis Mayfield song which suits the group's style well. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=99BnZM69kGg And the show ended with Mighty Mighty (Spade and Whitey) and, inevitably, the group's most famous civil rights anthem Move On Up. Altogether a delightful show and one which was over far too soon.
Words and photos by Nick Cobban.