The slick showbiz dynasty from Gary, Indiana are celebrating 50 years of professional performance this year. From the moment Jermaine, Jackie, Tito and Marlon hit the stage in Glasgow, they gave impression they could quite happily truck on for 50 more.
O2 Academy, Glasgow ****
The crowd were in celebratory mood from the get-go, responding in the affirmative to the momentous Can You Feel It? The brothers could hardly fail with their back catalogue, anyway. There wasn’t a chink in their armoury as Blame It On The Boogie, a carefree cover of brother Michael’s Rock With You, the good groove of Enjoy Yourself and the sultry Show You the Way to Go followed in short order.
Without Michael’s transcendent frontman abilities, this was definitely a group effort, with Jermaine’s lead blended into the fragrant harmonies and fluent falsettos, youngest brother Marlon steering the infectious fancy footwork and a superb band laying down the funk law.
They paid explicit tribute to Michael on Gone Too Soon, though he was ever present and youthful on the archive footage which accompanied every number.
Drawing breath during a short documentary interlude, they skipped from the sophisticated disco of the late 70s to a joyous soul bubblegum medley of I Want You Back, ABC, The Love You Save, a soft Never Can Say Goodbye and the soppy I’ll Be There, though unabridged versions would have been preferable to Tito time, punting inferior funk tracks from his latest album.
However, they regained the party momentum with Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’, and an extended Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground) before returning to deliver steely funk rocker State of Shock.