CHRISTMAS SHOW FULL TO BURSTING AS SOUL SHINES THROUGH
By Dennis O'Donoghue
Sold out- and souled out. The "house full "
signs went up on the Stylistics" visit to Dunstable
Leisure Centre a week before Saturdays Cali-R Christmas
show, and as a result the town had the unusual spectacle
of ticket touts in operation!
who had missed out in the scramble for tickets turned
up on the night anyway, and who had bought early decided
to cash in on their luck by selling to them for a profit.
they went home happy, but not as happy as the 800 people
who crammed into the venue for a night of velvet soul,
featuring exceptional vocalist- Harold' Eban' Brown,
who three years ago at the age of 28, was charged with
replacing the irreplaceable Russell Thompkins Jr, the
falsetto voice of the Stylistics for four decades. Well,
could you tell the difference?
not. If anything the high tenor, almost castrato, voice
of former Moments, Delfonics and Manhattans lead singer
was clearer and purer than that of Thompkins, but technicalities
apart, the noisy enthusiastic audience were more concerned
with hearing the hits.
And those they got by the shed load. From Rock `Roll
Baby kick off to the finale I Cant give you anything
( But My Love), the show was packed with top ten favourites
including Stone In Love With You, You` re A Big Girl
Now, Betcha By Golly Wow( during which Brown hit a high
note which threatened to punch a hole in the roof) You
Are Everything, You`ll Never Go To Heaven, Break Up
To Make Up, Sing Baby Sing, Star Of A Tv Show and You
Make Me Feel Brand New.
The audience excitement slackened only momentarily from
hits to their-less familiar album songs, but their professionalism
and delivery throughout, allied to understated support
from the six-piece band, was of the highest order. In
fact, it was more like hearing the records than a show
and you cant say fairer than that.
all ten musicians were unanimous in wanting to return
next year, which was good news because Cali-R promoter
Sid Hudson is equally keen to book them.
member Airrion Lovesaid "This was only one of four
sell out shows of the 30 date tour and we had a ball.
The audience was really warm and reactive. We would
definitely love to return next year if you"ll have
back, he admitted that after so many concerts in so
many places over 35 years, he had no recollection of
appearing at the California Ballroom in the seventies.
"But i heard that not long after we appeared there
it burned down or they built on it, or something like
that. Hope it was nothing to do with us!"