IT’S quite something to surprise Nile Rodgers, a musician who must have presided over the wildest revels in his time.
Chic and Nile Rodgers
Rating: * * * *
Yet he seemed genuinely stunned by the ecstatic reaction of the Glasgow crowd at this non-stop party of a gig where the karaoke-like instructions to “sing” or “scream” on the big screen were surplus to requirements.
Rodgers and his late partner Bernard Edwards wrote the disco songbook and he was more than happy to revisit that exquisitely stylised catalogue from first (Everybody Dance) to latest. I’ll Be There sounds simple but, as Rodgers attests, is a killer to play.
Thankfully, he has the band to deliver these disco masterworks, all conceived with an eye trained on the charts. Rodgers specializes in pop music as danceable art. So concerned was he that the audience responded well to Chic’s new single that he played the video in order that we might familiarize ourselves with the track. Like the rest of Chic’s formidable canon, it is the same but different.
An extended portion of the set was also devoted to the songs Rodgers has written or produced for other artists – Diana Ross’s I’m Coming Out, Sheila B Devotion’s Spacer, Madonna’s Like A Virgin and his immaculate collection for Sister Sledge – as well as reappropriating Chic samples from other tracks such as Modjo’s Lady and The Sugarhill Gang’s Rapper’s Delight.
These were received with much the same alacrity as a rapturous I Want Your Love, a soulful Chic-ified rendition of Daft Punk’s Get Lucky and a hoarse but lusty Let’s Dance leading up to the finale (and précis) of the gig: Good Times.