The chances are that if you are the proud owners of the various ‘Jackie’ compilation albums and you live near Brighton, then you are here tonight (Saturday 21st October) to witness The Legends Live 2017 arena tour featuring Suzi Quatro, David Essex, The Osmonds and Hot Chocolate.
As one of only eight concerts up and down the length and breadth of the country, the good folk of Brighton were in for quite an evening of 1970’s nostalgia. Tonight’s packed audience were as you would expect leaning towards the more mature contingent. No doubt a vast majority of those attending, would have bought the artists releases at the time on vinyl and cassette and quite possibly cherished them ever since.
It must have been quite a decision for the promoter to decide the running order for the four famous acts, as they have all been really famous for decades. But tonight (and probably during the whole tour), the running order was Hot Chocolate, The Osmonds, David Essex and Suzi Quatro.
The only act I have previously seen was Hot Chocolate and that was at the exact same venue no less than 38 years ago. I was fortunate to have front row seats and can recall ladies offering their underwear to now sadly departed Jamaican born original singer Errol Brown MBE. Alas no such luck for Hot Chocolate’s current singer (and Errol Brown lookalike) Kennie Simon.
The original Hot Chocolate band was formed in 1968 they became the only group, one of just three acts that scored a hit in every year of the 70’s in the charts (the other two being Elvis Presley and Diana Ross).
The current line-up of Kennie Simon, Patrick Olive, Tony Connor, Harvey Hinsley, Steve Ansell and Andy Smith has mainly been together for over 25 years. Tonight the guys set the tone for the evening and successfully warmed up the crowd with their short and sweet six song set featuring: ‘Every 1’s A Winner’, ‘Emma’ (my favourite track of theirs), ‘You Could Have Been A Lady’, ‘So You Win Again’ (amazingly their only UK No.1 single), ‘It Started With A Kiss’ and ‘You Sexy Thing’ (the only track to reach the top 10 in 1970s, 1980s and1990s and was used in the soundtrack to The Full Monty).
Want to know more, visit: www.hot-chocolate.co.uk
Next up were The Osmonds, who have recorded over 50 albums and sold over 100 million records, 59 of those reaching gold and platinum status. So it’s fair to say that these boys are mega-stars. I suspect that if Donnie Osmond had been on board tonight, then they would have been topping the bill.
Tonight the Osmonds were represented by brothers, Merrill, Jay and Jimmy, however this was in fact Jimmy’s penultimate gig as he was leaving due to family commitments. So maybe the boys could ask another member of the ever-expanding Osmonds clan to join the fold?
Tonight they performed ten tracks, which were: ‘Crazy Horses’ (my favourite of theirs), ‘Down By The Lazy River’, ‘The Proud One’, ‘Let Me In’, ‘One Bad Apple’, ‘Yo-Yo’, ‘Long Haired Lover From Liverpool’ (Little Jimmy Osmonds UK No.1 – he sings it much deeper now!), ‘He Ain’t Heavy He’s My Brother’, ‘Love Me For A Reason’ (amazingly their only UK No.1 as The Osmonds) and ‘Goin’ Home’.
Want to know more, visit: http://osmond.com/
Next up, it was the turn of mums-of-a-certain-age Romany heart-throb David Essex OBE. And you know what, tonight this 70 year old loveable chap is still attracting ladies in their hordes. I was quite taken aback with this actually and would go so far to suggest that David (or Eddie Moon) was the biggest hit of the night, if crowd reaction was anything to go by.
I was fortunate enough to have owned a promotional 7” DJ single of David’s breakthrough chart hit ‘Rock On’ and the very first album I ever bought was the original soundtrack album of ‘Stardust’, which starred and featured budding actor Essex, so it’s fair to say that from 1973-75 I was a keen fan of his. I can even remember reading a book back in the day about his life too.
Tonight’s setlist was: ‘Intro Tape’, ‘Beautiful Day’, ‘Hold Me Close’ (UK No.1 single), ‘If I Could’, ‘Rock On’, ‘Lamplight’, ‘A Winter’s Tale’, ‘Oh What A Circus’, ‘Gonna Make You A Star’ (UK No.1 single) and ‘Silver Dream Machine’.
Want to know more, visit: http://www.davidessex.com/
The final act tonight was rock-chick Suzi Quatro, who between 1973 and 1980 featured in the British charts for no less than 101 weeks, and has sold to date over 55 million records. Like David Essex, Suzi has also done her fair share of acting playing leather tuscadero opposite Henry Winkler and Ron Howard in the popular TV Series Happy Days. She continued to act in other shows including, Minder, Dempsey and Makepeace, and more up to date, Absolutely Fabulous and Midsomer Murders. She’s a dab hand at DJ-ing on Radio 2 aswell.
After the David Essex set, the Brighton Centre crowd needed coaxing into a rock-mood and so after a few tracks, bossy Suzi got them all waving their arms in the air clapping along to her many hits. A fitting way to end an inoffensive evening of retro-pop music.
Tonights setlist ran: ‘The Wild One’, ‘Mama’s Boy’, ‘Tear Me Apart’, ‘Stumblin’ In (a duet she had a hit with Smokie’s Chris Norman), ’48 Crash’, ‘Rockin’ In The Free World’ (a Neil Young Cover), ‘She’s In Love With You’, ‘drumming duo track’, ‘Can The Can’ (UK No.1 single), ‘Devil Gate Drive’ (my favourite track and a UK No.1 single),, ‘If You Can’t Give Me Love’ and ‘outro track Go Suzi Go’.
Want to know more, visit: http://www.suziquatro.com/