Gig review: The Jacksons - Glasgow SECC

Picture: Wattie Cheung

Picture: Wattie Cheung

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It has been almost 30 years since the Jackson brothers last undertook a concert tour – then they called it Victory; now it’s a show of Unity.

The Jacksons - Glasgow SECC

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The message is clear: they may be a significant man down, but their brother Michael is with them in spirit – and on screen, in photos and footage from the family archive, and all over the setlist, which included some selections from his solo career.

Though Tito, Jackie, Marlon and Jermaine, the latter looking fine in a kilt, may have been eclipsed in pop culture by their superstar sibling, these four are old pros, more than capable of delivering a slick non-stop showbiz performance which was unabashed in its nostalgia, but also unbeatable as a party soundtrack, expertly rendered by their super-tight band from the moment they struck up the irresistible rhythm of Can You Feel It?

Individual vocals were not always as clear as they might be, and Jermaine’s preacher screams were somewhat geriatric, but the infectious material always won through in the end. The brothers even busted out the old moves for a medley of the early effervescent pop hits, culminating in a delightful reworking of I’ll Be There (because no one hits those notes like MJ).

They could easily have devoted more time to this at the expense of Jermaine’s 80s funk solo spot but if the purpose of the show was to celebrate the diversity of the Jackson legacy, there were no quibbles with the sweet Philly soul of Man Of War, the soft, sublime Show You The Way To Go, the tender requiem of MJ’s Gone Too Soon, which gave the audience space to pay their own tributes, and the supremely funky finale of Wanna Be Startin’ Something, Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough and an extended James Brown-referencing rendition of Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground).

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