Sunday, July 24, 2011

Blazing Funk & Cool Soul

On Friday, July 22, the thermometer was inching towards the 100 mark, but the crowd on the Hamden Green was ready to cool down with some classic soul. The Spinners wowed the crowd with a fantastic performance, featuring many of their best-known songs. The group has been around since the ‘60s, but had their greatest success during the ‘70s, with such hits as “Could It Be I’m Falling In Love,” “I’ll Be Around,” and “The Rubberband Man.” Their smooth vocals and Temptations-style choreography made them an audience favorite, and the group appeared on many TV shows (such as “Soul Train”) and toured extensively during their heyday.

Opening act Boogie Chillun (a longtime staple on the New Haven music scene), heated up the already hot crowd with a set of funkified tunes, including Kool & The Gang’s “Hollywood Swingin” and Parliament’s “Tear The Roof Off The Sucker (We Want The Funk)” Despite the warm weather, a good portion of the crowd was grooving along with the band's funky sounds. After closing with “one for the kids,” Cee-Lo Green’s “Forget You,”  the Chillun left the stage, and gave way to The Spinners.

Led by original members Bobbie Smith & Henry Farmborough, (and newer members such as Marvin Taylor, whose smooth vocals recalled Marvin Gaye), the band entertained the crowd with a generous set of hits like “Then Came You,” “Mighty Love,” “It’s A Shame,” and “Sadie.”  The group also had a stellar band of backing musicians laying down their grooves. The music of the 60s and 70s really touches a chord with those of us who grew up during that era (and many people in the younger generation as well), and you could see & feel the energy of the crowd as people got to their feet during songs like “Working My Way Back To You,” “I’ll Be Around” and “Games People Play.” It was great to see entire families singing & dancing along with the energetic group. The Spinners' soul, style, and sense of fun never waned during the show and they truly left the crowd wanting more.

This show was part of the Hamden Arts Commissions' Annual Free Summer Concert Series. Kudos to them (and the Town of Hamden) for continuing to provide fantastic entertainment every summer during this shows.

Note: Spinners Photo by John V

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