Gig review: Shalamar, Glasgow O2 ABC

IT’S unfortunate Shalamar are foggily recalled as the early 1980s funk sophisticates who weren’t Shakatak (and vice versa).

The American music group rose to prominence in the 1970s and 80s. Picture: Creative COmmons


O2 ABC, Glasgow

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In fact they were a major chart act in their heyday, particularly in the UK where they scored eight Top 20 hits between 1978 and 1983.

Famously, original member Jeffrey Daniel sparked the body­popping phenomenon when, during an oft­-repeated Top of The Pops performance, he became the first dancer to perform the moonwalk on British television. They also sprang from the funky loins of seminal black American music show Soul Train. That’s quite a legacy.

These days the reformed line­up of Daniel, fellow original member Howard Hewett and “new” recruit Carolyn Griffey are essentially an oldies act. But as proven by this winning show, there’s no shame in that.

Granted, most of their songs sound the same. Theirs is a world where brassy keyboard stabs and tidy neon grooves never went out of fashion. But eclecticism isn’t the point of Shalamar. They’re a party band. Endearingly cheesy showbiz professionals, they came solely to entertain their ecstatic Saturday night crowd. And boy did they succeed.

Still impressively lithe, Daniel merrily led his troupe through a slick cavalcade of dance-floor perennials such as The Second Time Around and I Can Make You Feel Good. By the time Griffey cut some rug while wearing – I kid you not – a Sweep glove­puppet, we’d entered a kind of surreal disco nirvana. You can’t keep a body­popper down.

Seen on 11.04.15