Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Candi Staton shows she is 'Unstoppable'

Candi Staton has a new album out shortly called 'Unstoppable'. Judging by last night's show at the Omeara in London (a new venue for me, but an intimate one which has much to commend it), it's a very apt title, because, at the age of 78, Candi still has energy to spare, as well as a great voice and vibrant personality.
I missed the first couple of numbers as I was watching England do the unthinkable by actually winning a penalty shoot out, but I gather they were 'Honest I Do' and the Bee Gees' 'Nights on Broadway'. When I arrived Candi was going through some of her earlier recordings from her time at Fame, with her excellent version of Tammy Wynette's 'Stand By Your Man', followed by 'I'd Rather Be An Old Man's Sweetheart (Than A Young Man's Fool)'. It was immediately clear that we were in for something special. Candi has a terrific personality and it shone through. Backed by her regular band, which was excellent, as were her backing singers, she moved on to two numbers from the new album - the bluesy 'I Fooled You (Didn't I)' and Patti Smith's 'People Have The Power'.
Back in the early seventies, Candi had great success with a cover of 'In The Ghetto', a song, she recalled, that she performed with Elvis at the time. From that point onwards it was dance time, something the youngish crowd took to enthusiastically, initially with a good take on 'Suspicious Minds'. Then it was on to an extended version of her disco classic 'Young Hearts Run Free', with hints of gospel ('This Little Light Of Mine') thrown in, during which she introduced members of the band. The dance favourite 'You Got The Love' inevitably got the crowd going and by this time you could feel the love - both from Candi and from the adoring audience. Candi finished with a brief stab at Unstoppable - 'it's what I'm trying to be', she said. On this form Candi certainly is


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