Gig Review: M People - Kew Gardens, London ✭✭✭✭

Kew Gardens, London 

Wednesday 4th July: For one week Kew Gardens hosts ‘Kew the Music’ a sublime summer experience. For one week it’s a celebration of world class music with six outdoor picnic concerts set against the backdrop of the magnificent Victorian Temperate House.

Coming on to the stage was CHIC featuring Nile Rodgers. Nile Rodgers has a career spanning three decades, he is recognised as one of the world’s most influential music producers and has collaborated with stars of the music scene from Diana Ross to Eric Clapton, David Bowie and Duran Duran. One thing was clear no one was going to be sitting down.

Getting the night started they performed ‘Everybody Dance’; Kew Gardens was alive with the sound of disco. The groups first hit single was next with ‘Dance, Dance, Dance’; we had other songs including ‘I Want Your Love’, ‘My Forbidden Lover’, ‘Good Times’ and ‘Le Freak’. We also were treated to a selection of songs that Nile Rodgers had been a part of which included, Diana Ross’s, ‘I’m Coming Out’ and ‘Upside Down’, Madonna’s, ‘Like A Virgin’ and others. They were a great start to the show; they almost felt like the main act they were so good. It was like one big disco.

Finally on to the stage came the headline act M-People. With Heather Small’s unique and recognisable vocals, to the skills of the band, this was one great performance. M-People emerged out of Manchester’s legendary Hacienda club scene in the 1980s and crossed over to become one of the world’s biggest dance acts. Featuring Heather Small as lead vocalist, whose amazing, deep soulful voice became one of the defining sounds of the era.

They hit the stage with ‘Renaissance’ taken from their album Elegant Slumming. The night was a celebration of some of the most well-known songs that M-People have recorded. It would take too long to mention every single song they sung last night, so I will mention my favourites on the night, they all happen to be the classics from the albums Elegant Slumming, Northern Soul, and Bizarre Fruit. So my favourites on the night were; ‘One Night In Heaven’, my all time favourite M-People song ‘Search For The Hero’, and to hear that song live was amazing. ‘Sight For Sore Eyes’ and ‘How Can I Love You More?’, and of course the 2012 Olympic Bid song ‘Proud’.

This was a great night, the dancing, the singing, the location. The crowd certainly enjoyed the night, and I did too. M-People were amazing, a definite recommendation to see live, and reminisce on your memories that come from these songs.

4 out of 5 stars ✭✭✭✭

Review by Christina Benneworth