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Saturday, July 15, 2017


(Percy Smith & Marion Loudon)

One of the best I have seen at Rhumbelow – and well worth attending. (Review by Keith Millar)

The Rhumbelow Theatre is traditionally the home of marvellous music shows paying tribute to the bands and songs of yesteryear.

With their latest offering, a brand-new show which tips its hat to the wonderful world of Soul music, they have a winner.

It is a fabulous trip, or rather party, down memory lane to the 60’s and 70’s and to the genre of music which was all about love, emotions and wearing your heart on your sleeve.

Soul music originated in the United States in the late 1950s and early 1960s and combines elements of African-American gospel music, rhythm and blues and jazz. It is characterised by an emphasis on vocals and an impassioned delivery. It is associated with performers such as Sam Cooke, Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Otis Redding, Percy Sledge, Dianna Ross, Marvin Gaye, The Temptations and Wilson Pickett.

Paying tribute to these wonderful performers were two powerhouse singers. On male vocals is Percy Smith, back in Durban after years on the Barnyard circuit, he shows that he has “gotta lotta soul” in a sizzling interpretation of the music. With him is Durban’s popular singing sweetheart, Marion Loudon who, in my opinion, puts in her best performance I have seen in some time.

Together they are an absolute knock-out. Playful, charming and highly energetic they display huge personality and show a great affinity for this genre of music.

Backing them is a rocking band which showed great skill and ability. Their musical director, on keyboards and backing vocals, is the inimitable Calli Thomson. On guitar is a new young star, the impressive Jayson Kylen. Playing bass is the legendary Jill Murraybrown while the multi-talented Andy Turrell is on drums.

Among the many inspiring, and memorable songs, they performed, and I am sure you will recognise most of them, were Marvin Gaye’s Heard It Through the Grape Vine, The Temptations’ My Girl, Sam Cooke’s Bring It On Home to Me, Otis Redding’s Sitting On The Dock of The Bay and Knock On Wood, Wilson Pickett’s Mustang Sally, Dianna Ross’s Stop In The Name Of Love, Aretha Franklin’s Rescue Me, and Percy Sledge’s When a Man Loves a Woman.

Percy Smith also had good fun wearing a floppy wig for James Brown’s It’s a Man’s World and an Afro for Otis’ Redding’s Try a Little Tenderness, while his performance of Millie the Moocher while dressed in drag was hilarious.

Gotta Lotta Soul is a superb shindig of a show with great spirit and character. The band is excellent and the performance by the singers out of the top drawer. The audience on Friday night loved it and were on their feet and singing along on many occasions.

One of the best I have seen at Rhumbelow – and well worth attending.

The next show will be tomorrow (July 16) at 14h00 and again from next week - Friday to Sunday (July 21 to 23). Performances on Fridays and Saturdays at 20h00 and Sundays at 14h00. There is an extra performance on July 23 at 18h30.

Tickets R150. The venue opens 90 minutes before show for picnic dinner. Take along baskets. Braais will be available. There is limited secure parking and booking is essential. A cash bar is available (no alcohol may be brought on to the premises).

Rhumbelow Durban is situated at 42 Cunningham Road off Bartle Road in Umbilo.

Booking is through Computicket or contact Roland on 082 499 8636 (also for large group booking discounts of 20 or more), email or visit – Keith Millar