Gig Review: M People - Theatre Royal Drury Lane, London ✭✭✭✭

M People
Theatre Royal Drury Lane

Sunday 27th October 2013: Is there a better way to spend a Sunday night than at the last night of a 20th anniversary tour from a band who have many hits under their belt? It sure beats watching the likes of X Factor that's for sure.

M People emerged out of the club scene in Manchester in the early nineties and became one of the world’s biggest dance acts selling more than 11 million records. With the unmistakable voice of Heather Small joining Paul Heard, Shovell and founder Mike Pickering, M People released 20 Top 40 singles, including 10 Top 10s including inspirational national anthems like "Moving On Up", "Search For The Hero" and "One Night In Heaven".

M People's first album the acclaimed ‘Northern Soul’ was released in 1992 and was hailed as one of the best dance albums of that year and spun their first top 10 single ‘How Can I love You More’.  It wasn’t until the band’s line up was complete in 1993 with the addition of percussionist Shovell that M People went onto win a Brit Award and the prestigious Mercury Music Prize with their second album ‘Elegant Slumming’.  

M People’s third album, 1994’s ‘Bizarre Fruit’ stayed in the UK chart for two and a half years, saw the band win another Brit Award and play the main stage at Glastonbury Festival. A few years later the band produced fourth album ‘Fresco’.

A sold out auditorium paved the way for a fabulous night, and boy did it sound good. Even up in the rafters where our seats were right at the very back, the sound quality was perfect, crystal clear, all instruments heard, balanced nicely for Heather Small's wonderful vocals.

Opening with One Night in Heaven, the audience instantly were on their feet dancing away, and it remained like this throughout the entire show - hit after hit engulfing our ears, Angel Street, Colour My Life, Someday, Search for the Hero and many more.

The band were seamless, and what a pleasure it was to witness Snake Davis on Saxophone leading the way, his solo's were smooth and silky. Shovell had a big percussion set up down stage right, with Paul Heard on Keys stage left, along with backing vocals, drums, guitars and more keys.

After twenty years, the songs still sound as fresh as they did, and I lost count at how many times I was singing along throughout the night. My only criticism would be that the gig should have been in a bigger venue, so that even more fans had the chance to see M People party the night away.

Four stars ✭✭✭✭

Set List:
One Night in Heaven
Angel Street
Colour My Life
Search for the Hero
Natural Thing
Don't Look any Further
Open Up Your Heart
Sight For Sore Eyes
How Can I Love You More

Just For You
Itchycoo Park
Moving On Up