The Real Thing

Another summer evening down by the seaside, the cool breeze from the sea a welcome relief from the days’ heat inland. 70s soul sensation The Real Thing is what has brought us to The Spa Pavilion.

Opening the evening was a very competent five-piece band! OK, they were in fact The Real Thing band, in effect treating us to a very enjoyable upmarket sound check of funky sounds that set the mood for what was to follow.

After the intermission, and a change of shirts so we didn’t think it was the same five-piece band, they were joined by Chris Amoo and Dave Smith.  From the moment they came on stage it was obvious that this group of musicians were here to perform.

It didn’t take long for the audience to get to their feet and into the aisles dancing to all the hits – you forget how many there were and how many you know the words to!  “Do you remember the moves we used do in the 70s?” Chris asked and we shuffled left and right and spun around – albeit maybe a little slower that we did back then.

The audience were all fans, knew all the songs, sang all the words and I could see what Chris meant when he said in an interview, I did with him recently: “…we have always been a working band, that’s how we started, that’s how we’ve always been, right the way through everything.  I think being a working band is what makes you.  Number one you learn how to perform; number two nothing can phase you audience wise ,cause you are used to that number, and three your voice improves over the years.  As you continue to do something, you hone your craft, your voice develops a tone, it gets stronger.

And it showed, Chris had difficulties with his mic – it was becoming ‘really annoying’ he politely said, but neither he nor Dave missed a beat as they shared Dave’s mic and soundman Graham made a brief appearance on stage!

There was a poignant moment when Chris remembered the two past members of the group, Ray Lake and Chris’ brother Eddie, before singing ‘Children of the Ghetto’.

The evening of feel good soul came to an end with the one song even those who were not born in the 70s knows ‘You to me Are Everything’ – although in fairness I think the audience did most of the singing on this one.

Also in the interview I asked Chris what we might expect of the show: “…generally just have a nice evening.” was his reply.  He was not wrong.  In fact we had a very enjoyable evening indeed. 

One thing that struck me as I walked about the auditorium taking pictures was that the Spa Pavilion, without a balcony to contend with, has excellent sound quality throughout.