The evening opened with support Artist Nat Augustin, who warmed
everyone up with a wide range of George Benson classics,
including Turn Your Love Around, Shiver, Never Give Up On A Good
Thing and Give Me The Night. It was a good start, which got the
audience in the mood for dancing. A class opening act and a lively
opener to the night ahead
As the lights dimmed down, Soul Legend Alexander ONeal came on stage
(or is it Johnnie Ringo his self-named nickname for that week,
apparently he chooses a different one every week). The opening track
was Innocent, with everyone cheering him as he came on stage.
Followed by What Can I Say To Make You Love Me. I was
thinking, this doesnt sound like Alexander and as I did, he got the
soundman to turn down the bass from his voice and suddenly - all was
good he now sounded more like how I remembered. Then
onto Sunshine, Hearsay 89, The Lovers and All True Man.
Sometimes, he sounded a little out of breath, especially in between
songs and he constantly kept walking to the side of the stage, which
became a little bit annoying as the night went on.
Next section was called Making S**t up, where he sang about whatever
came to him at the time. It sounded good and I really enjoyed this
section, his voice sounding warmer and more contemporary. Its a
shame he didnt do more of this during the show, as it would have been
good to get the chance to hear a couple of new tracks.
Alexander then asked a lady from the front row to join him on stage,
as he poured out two glasses of champagne, which they both sipped,
whilst he sang If You Were Here Tonight, as they sat on an aptly
placed bench beneath a replica Victorian street lamp.
Then onto This Thing Called Love, after which he asked people to
join him on stage as he finished with a medley of songs (sweating
profusely). The white towels, which were provided, got more than
their fair share usage on the night! I couldnt resist getting up,
along with around 40 others and danced on stage until the show ended.
The band was good and joined in with on-stage dancing and role-
playing. They had a funky sound, with an elegant backing vocalist.
The evening wasnt quite what I expected. However it was a good night,
Im glad to have seen him and to have heard one my all time favourite
tracks If You Were Here Tonight, live.
Overall to see a Soul Legend like Alexander ONeal was a great
opportunity, although I got the feeling his career had taken a toll on
him and Im still suffering from the shock of how he is now, compared
to what he was quite different. I feel the addition of new material
would bring him more up to date and improve his performance a bit
stuck in the past.