Fitzy’s 30th October 2021: The Motown 2 Millennia Spectacular.
While Motown were making music, they were also making history. What was Motown? It was a record company (a morphing of the two words “Motor” + “Town” where the huge USA car industry was based) that was born in Detroit in January ‘59.
This new amazing Australian tribute group, featuring ‘Sex and Chocolate’ and their 8-piece band, were playing at Fitzy’s Loganholme. To be much more correct, it’s an 8-piece band plus 5 big-voiced singers. A full “soul sound-around”. They’ve Phil Spector-ized a medley of great 60’s songs for the intro, so everybody was “Ready, to Get Ready”.
These guys pushed hard. The dance, hand and arm routines behind the mics blended with intricate, solid harmonies. That in turn made for high sparking, full energy entertainment. Our eyes never got a break. Gold costumes for the singers, black smart suits for the band members – this was all first class. As was the “Wall of Sound”- trumpets, trombone, sax, congas, rhythm guitar, drums, keyboard and bass.
If that wasn’t enough, it combined a volunteer 200-piece choir that Fitzy supplied (Actually, we were all pretty good!).
Just as one example, “Tracks of My Tears” (Smokey Robinson) got everybody dancing with a happy volumed sound-mix. And this is the kind of feel-good music that we as an audience have sorely missed over the last couple of years. Amongst stacks of tracks sung, and “I Heard This on The Grapevine” -that you’re no longer going book them online. Well, you are… but you have to be super quick.
The audience was mixed age – but no matter the year of anyone’s birth, a brand-new teen spirit definitely existed.
The dance floor went ballistic from the first song. The vibe from this magic 60’s music resonated within the heart of each other. It was a happy place. We had Music, Sweet Music everywhere and Dancing in the Street. Well, almost – because that would have been a little dangerous.
The Sound and Lighting guys (in true Roadie tradition) repaired with gaffa tape, a patrons dancing shoe that came apart. She was back on the dance floor within 60 seconds. Good work guys, I saw what you did!
I believe audience participation is great, if it’s someone else who has to participate and not me. Cheryl and Paul were picked out of the audience. And up they went, willingly. Whew! What the real surprise was rather than being as flat as the bitumen on the M1 outside, Cheryl and Paul could sing brilliantly. I’m not sure who was surprised first! The audience erupted when they heard them and championed them on!
It was great fun for all. Smiles broadened for the first minute until the two hours disappeared. Their memories, however, will hang around forever.
The second hour had the band emerge in red velvet coats – full pomp and ceremony. Then kicked off with a big package of other tunes including Earth Wind & Fire’s “September”, “Good Times”, from Lionel Richie, a couple of Michael Jackson hits and even Prince’s “Purple Rain”. Barry White’s huge hit “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love” was sung and really, you can’t get enough of these guys either.
The entire group entertained strenuously but avoided making it look like hard work. They’re wet by the end of the night, but you couldn’t prise the smiles off their dials. Wherever they turn up – whenever you hear about them, make sure you get a ticket to Motown.
Another complete sell-out show at Fitzy’s.
Reviewed by 101FM Radio Presenter Stu Robertson
Photography by Michelle Cop (MC Photography)