Monday, March 10, 2014

Impressions in Islington

The Impressions are regular visitors to the UK these days, living up to the title of their 1964 album The Never Ending Impressions. They are more than welcome, as the three man line up retains its smooth gospel flavoured harmonic sound and the group's back catalogue of soulful songs and anthems of social consciousness is second to none. Their show at the Islington Assembly Hall last night was a treat from beginning to end.
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.    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.


At 1:46 pm , Blogger Nick said...

Graham Joyce, who was at the show selling his T shirt merchandise, commented on Facebook: I love the comment "Only been with the group since 1973"!

At 1:08 pm , Blogger john marriott said...

Saw show in Prestatyn the night before - basically same plus You ought to be in heaven and Stay close to me both fantastic. Didn't amazingly do Rhythm too even though they sung it' superbly at rehearsal which I saw. Got my copy signed afterwards but forgot to ask them why!


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