Curtis & The Foundations - November 2005
by Denis O`Donoghue
Dunstable Gazette/Luton News
65, Clem still wows the fans of Foundations.
The funkiest pensioner in Buckinghamshire made the short
journey from his home in Olney to wow the large, enthusiastic
crowd at the Cali-r Christmas show at Dunstable Leisure
Clem led the Foundations on stage before announcing his
65th birthday on Monday. He then proceeded to blow away
the audience with a show that belied his advancing years,
while prowling across the stage in a slicksuit and wrap
It matters not a jot that none of the present Foundations
was even born when the original line up took Baby Now
That I Found You to No. 1 in 1967. The point is that Clem
IS the Foundations - his voice, his show.
The old trooper produced a performance which caught perfectly
with the party atmosphere, which was helped by a boisterous,
singalong version of Build Me Up Buttercup. In The Bad,
Bad Old Days completed his top ten hat trick.
But let us not forget although Clem aimed his "big
three "squarely at the pop market, he is a veteran
of the 1960s soul scene.
Knockout versions of My Girl, Knock On Wood, Show Me and
Twist And Shout plus nods of the 70s with Celebration,
Lets Stay Together, My First My Last My Everything and
Superstition, demonstrated that he still has the "pipes",
despite the date on his birth certificate.
Just like such soul veterans and Cali-R favourites as
Jimmy James, George McCrae, Airron Love from the Stylistics
and the late Edwin Starr, Clem likes to put more into
his shows-he goes into the audience afterwards, signs
autographs, has photos taken with fans and flirts with
only time he looked discomforted was when I asked him
if he would be applying for his bus pass!
He staggered back, rolled his eyes, threw up his hands
and groaned" God no!"
So dont be suprised if Clem and the Foundations are back
for Cali-R on his 70th birthday.
Promoter and DJ Sid Hudson said: "It was a marvellous
performance from Clem, and the whole night had the special
Cali-R atmosphere. There was a real buzz about the place.
Danny, Doug, John and Martin at The California Ballroom in 1976
Sid later brought former Cali colleague Louie Martin on
stage to reminisce about old times before he moved upstairs
to join Jellybean in the Jazz/Funk room, and introduced
Diane Ilka, granddaughter of Edwin Green, the man who
built the California Ballroom.
Her book about his life and the events of the California,
The "Cali"Album, has just been published by
The Book Castle. Diane was on hand to sign copies of the