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Wyman introduced the next act, Eddie Floyd, who appeared in a neat grey suit looking youthful and dapper, and is best known for his sixties hit Knock on Wood and a string of standards popularised by artists such as Ella Fitzgerald. As a performer his stage charisma was immediately evident, with brilliant movement and timing, irresistable for the audience who joined in dancing and clapping along. His two Blues Brothers Band numbers were highly entertaining, showing off a powerful vibrant and youthful voice, fluid rhythmic control and a neat way of moving across the stage while singing, his movements and dance-like gestures helping to create a magnetic sense of rhythm. Later, in the finale, he returned, hailed by Gino Washington as the 'King of Soul'.

Next came the Fabba Girls, a popular ABBA tribute group, slightly tongue in cheek with fake Swedish accents, but the music was appealing and the audience again joined in, some dancing in the isles. Paul Young's entrance was cheered: he is obviously better known by the younger generation; and his stage charisma was evident in the second number, in which he taught everyone to sing the chorus, 'Every time you go away you take a piece of me'. With its catchy tune and simple memorable tag for all to enjoy, this performance was a highpoint. His voice carried evocatively over the entire ensemble and he danced with all three singers (Fabba and Skeete) while the guitarists from the ensemble performed some deft solos.

Bill Wyman returned as frontman for a zestful Chuck Berry song, You never can tell, then introduced the next star, Kiki Dee, here with her guitar partner Carmelo Luggeri who created a new, intimate, musically inventive ambience. They performed two songs, one original and one a Kate Bush arrangement in which Kiki Dee's mellow voice soared above attractively etched out guitar sounds, swathed in warm synthesizer harmony.

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Copyright © 26 April 2006 Malcolm Miller, London UK


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