Live review: Motown’s Greatest Hits – How Sweet It Is

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In its 50-year history, Motown has never lost its popularity or appeal. How Sweet It Is celebrates such musical heritage with an eight-piece band and five male singers taking the lead.

With a whole generation of tracks to choose from, most Motown fans would have been pleased with the array of songs, which ranged from Stevie Wonder and Lionel Richie to more modern artists such as Sean Kingston. It is a daunting task to replicate such an iconic sound without merely copying greater efforts. How Sweet Is It manages to put it off with style, class and an obvious appreciation of such influential music.

The personalities of the band are key in differentiating their performance from any other Motown act. Each singer interacts effortlessly with the audience, delivering a charm that suited the atmosphere and balancing just the right amount of confidence to match their talent.

Unfortunately, the band did focus too much on seamless dance routines and relied heavily on their (very) tight trousers at times. As a result, the vocals were occasionally disappointing and failed to match the fizz of the overall performance. All can be forgiven though. Their energy and enthusiasm was infectious and never faltered.

Their professionalism meant that each song had an original twist and a contemporary focus which resulted in an accomplished, confident and sexy performance. It was no surprise that they were an overwhelming hit with the ladies, with even the slightest hip thrust filling the Playhouse with squeals.

The show mixes solo and group performance but the band are at their strongest when they are together. Songs such as Papa Was A Rolling Stone and Sir Duke were performed with ease and intensity. There was, however, a distinct lack of female vocals. As exciting as the male singers were, a large section of Motown was abandoned, and it was a noticeable absence.

How Sweet It Is combines the band’s nine-year chemistry with an abundance of natural talent to provide a wholly entertaining show which rarely stopped for breath.

Playhouse

Rating: 3/5