Friday, July 25, 2014

Nolan Porter at the 100 Club


It was good to be back at the 100 Club last night for an evening of Northern soul with LA resident Nolan Porter backed by British soul band the Stone Foundation. It was the first time I'd been there since its recent renovation. There may be more photos on the wall, the loos may be marginally better, but it hasn't changed: the place was packed and as hot and sweaty as ever, the way a good music venue should be. I wish the sound was better though.
Nolan Porter proved to be a dynamic performer with an engaging smile and bulging eyes, wearing a hat and scarf throughout on what was one of the warmest evenings of the year. His two best known numbers, Keep On Keepin' On and If I Could Only Be Sure (which he dedicated to his friend and mentor Johnny Guitar Watson), both from the early seventies, were sung with aplomb, as were the other numbers in his set, which included Oh Baby, I Like What You Give, The Fifth One, Darrell Banks' Somebody (Somewhere) Needs You, Van Morrison's Crazy Love, Fe Fi Fo Fum, and a great version of Brenton Wood's Gimme Little Sign, before finishing with Jumping Jack Flash.
Nolan has recorded some of these numbers with the Stone Foundation, whose earlier set showed that that they are loud, unsubtle but very effective at putting across their soulful numbers, with three horn men and an excellent singer in Neil Jones. Highlights included Right Time Right Place, Don't Let The Rain, Hold On, When You're In My World and, particularly, their final number That's The Way I Want You In My Life Baby.
It was a highly enjoyable evening and I wish there were more such nights at the 100 Club, as there used to be in the distant past.
Nick Cobban.

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