“Y’ALL ready for some good music?” Martha Reeves’ manager geed-up the crowd ahead of the Motown legend’s arrival onstage. Understatement? Maybe just.
Martha Reeves And The Vandellas
Oran Mor, Glasgow
* * * *
The former Detroit councilwoman’s return to performing since 2010 at the ripe old age of 69, following several years in local politics, has been a welcome one indeed. Looking like a million dollars and change in a veritable disco ball of a sequin dress and sparkling jewellery, a white fake fur draped over one shoulder, she could have earned five stars on strength of her outfit alone.
Reeves’ voice might not have quite retained its velvet-coated sledgehammer strength of days of yore. But this was a warm, happy and frequently hilarious triumph of sheer personality if nothing else, that served as the perfect celebration for some of the most invincible pop songs ever penned – Quicksand, Nowhere To Run and Jimmy Mack were casually dispatched in the first third alone – as played by a fantastically tight eight-piece band.
(Love Is Like A) Heat Wave saw Reeves call a breakdown to quiz fans, “How’s your love life?” My Baby Loves Me will be remembered by superfan James as the moment when he was invited up onstage to “wiggle” with his hero.
Ahead of Dancing In The Streets – as close a thing as you’ll find to the Motown anthem – Reeves’ recounting of a list from Bowie to Cilla Black of the many artists who have covered the song ended with her booming: “I came all the way to Scotland to tell you: that song belongs to me!” A gaggle of daftly exhibitionist fans joining Reeves in dancing the swim during its crescendo encapsulated a show that was as much fun as any has a right to be.