Shalamar (Special guests Jaki Graham and Janet Kay 3rd Dec 2023)

Shalamar will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the “Friends” album by performing the entire album live in concert for the first time in their history!

Plus special guests Jaki Graham – “Could It Be I’m Falling in Love”, “Round and Around”, “Set Me Free”, “Step Right Up”, “Breaking Away” and Queen of Lovers Rock, Janet Kay – “Silly Games”, “Walk On By”, “Lovin’ You”, “Wishing On A Star”.

“Friends” is a platinum-selling album, featured four top twenty hit singles – “A Night To Remember”, “Friends”, “There It Is” and “I Can Make You Feel Good”. The songs were huge and dominated the clubs and radio alike. “Friends” was the seminal album for the group and was put together by renowned producer Leon Sylvers. It sold over 1 million copies in the UK alone, outselling OMD, Abba, Queen, The Rolling Stones, Culture Club and Meat Loaf – to name but a few. It was one of the best selling albums of the year and has endured the test of time with songs that are still acclaimed today. As Howard Hewett lead singer said “throughout the years we’ve played the 4 hit singles plus varying other tracks from the album but never the whole 10 tracks”.

Shalamar will not just perform the album, but will also sing their greatest hits such as – “Take That to The Bank”, “Second Time Around”, “Make That Move”, “Dead Giveaway” and many more.

“Friends” was the ‘go to’ album of the early 80’s for lovers of soul music with a funky edge but which also delivered a huge dance craze – never seen before in the UK and introduced by group member Jeffrey Daniel. We are therefore also celebrating the 40th anniversary of this performance by Jeffrey, which saw the start of the body popping phenomenon and the first moonwalk on European TV. When promoting Shalamar hit singles, he also became the first ever artist to represent their record on the TOTP programme, purely using dance as the focal point. This performance changed music culture forever. Jeffrey has been an inspiration to millions of people across the world including the man he mentored – Michael Jackson.

Over the years the fashions and era of soul and dance music have evolved – but as Daryl Easlea puts in his review below – “And, for people of a certain age, it is almost impossible not to lift your right elbow up in a herky-jerky motion when you hear Ernest ‘Pepper’ Reed’s guitar introduction of A Night to Remember. Lovely.”

Shalamar have also evolved and in 2003 saw the daughter of Solar Records Founder Dick Griffey join the band as the female lead vocalist. Carolyn Griffey now fronts the band alongside original members Howard Hewett and Jeffrey Daniel – from the classic 1982 line up. Carolyn says “I can’t wait for the “Friends” tour. This will be amazing.”

The trio have toured the UK several times since the turn of the century and unlike some bands from the era who find themselves playing to smaller venues on each subsequent tour – are now playing venues of comparable size to their 1982 tour – backed by a solid 7 piece band they are guaranteed crowd pleasers and headliners at many Summer Festivals. Indeed it’s been known on more than one occasion for a ‘bigger’ band to insist going on stage before Shalamar – as they are a hard act to follow. As Jeffrey Daniel says “A Shalamar concert is not a band playing to an audience – it’s a band and an audience having a party together, from the first song people are up off their seats having a good time”.

Sunday 3rd Dec 2023 – 19:30 BST
Doors Open: 18:30
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