Gig review: Sister Sledge, Glasgow

NOT a downpour of summer rain in the build-up nor the news that Joni Sledge wouldn't be performing due to a broken foot could dampen spirits as these Philadelphian disco sisters brought Glasgow's West End Festival to a close in style.

Sister Sledge. Picture: Creative Commons
Sister Sledge. Picture: Creative Commons

Sister Sledge | Kelvingrove Bandstand, Glasgow | Rating ****

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Already loosely connected to the city by a collaboration with disco-house producer The Revenge, who was among a host of DJs that performed in the warm-up at this Sub Club-curated open-air half-dayer, Sister Sledge were welcomed like little-seen relatives by a crowd that was already dancing by the time they hit the stage. Tanya Tiet was drafted in as a last-minute replacement for Joni, slotting in seamlessly beside Sledge siblings Kim and Debbie all in matching black outfits.

What followed was a journey through not just the Sledges’ own hit-studded repertoire – they’re responsible for voicing some of the most instantly recognisable hits of the 1970s, most of them written by Chic’s Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers – but a kind of live megamix of classic disco, soul and rap floor-fillers.

He’s the Greatest Dancer quickly got the crowd in on the act as three definitely not shy female audience members were invited on stage for a dance contest where everyone was a winner. A take on Chic’s Good Times segued into the song which sampled its bassline so prominently, The Sugarhill Gang’s Rapper’s Delight. An elongated Lost In Music was padded out with tangential interjections of Chic’s Le Freak and some Zapp and Roger-style funky talkbox. A celebratory We Are Family similarly refused to quit at the end on a night where nobody seemed in a hurry to go home.