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"Victory goes to the player who makes the next-to-last mistake - Chessmaster Savielly Grigorievitch Tartakower (1887-1956)"

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Mary Wilson at Indigo2...

Last night Stu, Darren and I went to see the wonderful Mary Wilson perform at the Indigo2 supported by The Chi-Lites.

The Chi-Lites were fine - gambling through such hits as Have You Seen Her?, Oh Girl, Give It Away, I Found Sunshine, A Letter To Myself etc.

After a brief interval out came the lady herself. Mary Wilson was one third of the founding centre of The Supremes, and stayed through each (six in total) line-up changes between the late 1950s and 1977. The girl showed staying power then and did so again last night. Mary's solo career then kicked off officially in 1979, and she has continued to release albums and tour globally to rave reviews and sold out crowds since. Working together with her band for 19 years and counting, they did a protean mix of standards in a delicious live instrumental environ.

La Wilson's setlist for the evening criss-crossed and embraced jazz, pop, and soul with uncanny ease, a good portion of them coming from The Great American Songbook and of course her extensive back catalogue. With a moody blue, but affirming hue overall, she glowed with a sincere delivery.

We were treated to such soul classics as:
Where Did Our Love Go?
Baby Love
Come See About Me
Stop! In the Name of Love
Back in My Arms Again
Nothing but Heartaches
I Hear a Symphony
My World Is Empty Without You
Love Is Like an Itching in My Heart
You Can't Hurry Love
You Keep Me Hangin' On
The Happening
Love Child
Someday We'll Be Together
Bad Weather
Nathan Jones
Floy Joy
I Am Changing
Walk the Line
amongst many others

Towards the end we were treated to covers of Sting's Fields of Gold, The Rolling Stones' Satisfaction and an encore of Donna Summer's Last Dance.

Sadly nothing from Mary's eponymous 1979 album - despite calls from the floor for Red Hot..

La Wilson was funny, personal, and lively throughout the evening. The night made it crystal clear that Mary Wilson is a truly undervalued commodity amongst her Motown peers. A voice that is finally beginning to get its due, in terms of her massive Supremes contributions, and as an artist in general. Mary Wilson is the glistening example of talent that won't be held back by anyone or thing, I was glad to see it for myself in the flesh once again.

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  1. Anonymous10:28 pm

    I think I (WE) saw a different show altogether! About three quarters of the way through the show we decided we'd had enough and headed back to our hotel...and we weren't the only ones leaving and complaining about what we had all just experienced.
    At times we thought the show was just about to start, at other times it was just over and done with. If people expect to see glamour at its best, forget it. The show was cheap and tacky, and musically a mess. Her renditions of the old Super Supremes songs seemed hurried and shouted: these songs were clearly never written for Miss Wilson in the first place! We honestly expected to witness something wonderful with all of those years of experience: all 5 of us were bitterly disappointed.
    It'll be interesting to see if Miss Ross will honour us with a return to these shores, though not sure even she can hack it these days, but one thing's for sure, she cant do any worse than the show that Mary Wilson put on last night.
    The one good thing that came out of the night was the reminder of how legendary The Motown Sound WAS...but this was NO Motown Sound: just a load of musicians trying to be what they never were, and I'm sorry to say, but that applies to Mary Wilson over and above everyone else.
    With the highest of respect, there comes a time when some of these older artists should hang up their worn old frocks for once and for all. It's embarrassing to see/hear them make fools of themselves.


  2. Anonymous4:54 am

    Great review but interesting and odd that you don't list any of the 70's songs that Mary sang on Wednesday night.

    I really enjoyed the show especially the 70's stuff which Mary Wilson excelled at. She could have skipped Last Dance and added Touch. Nathan Jones, Floy Joy, River and Deep all brilliant. I am Changing seemed staged and rather boring.

    The Ch-Lites were good but a little old and 45 minutes of them was long enough. No offense gentlemen.

    I didn't see anyone leave but was sad that the indigO2 was more than half empty. The stage was a bit drab and needed some colour and better lighting.

    Mary Wilson and her US singers put on a brilliant show.

    Marcus Leighton.

  3. Anonymous4:33 pm

    The show kicked off with the Chi-Lites who did a good enough job of their work. For me personally, Have You Seen Her was excellent and will always remain one of my all time favourite songs by them. Sometimes you forget how many hits some of these almost forgotten acts had. I thought they did a good enough job warming the audience up.

    Then Mary came on stage..

    I think we would have enjoyed the performance if we could have heard her sing less of other people's songs. Last Dance definitely doesn't fit in and I'm sure Donna Summer has nothing to be worried about, and it's a shame she didnt use something we could connect to Marys own career to end the show.
    I hated her rendition of I Am Changing and find the whole association with Dreamgirls overdone now.

    We quite enjoyed the Supremes songs even though it all seemed rushed, and I think she could reduce the 60s Supremes material and replace it with post-Ross tunes like This Is The Story which I'm certain she could do justice to...

    The trouble is, I don't think she really has enough of her own material to perform, despite"overyourhead" saying that she "continued to release albums"...really? Did we miss something?

    We did notice a few people leave, and started to get a little concerned because the place was nowhere near full even at the start of the show.

    On the whole I/we thought that more could have been done to make it an interesting evening. The stage indeed was drab. Would we return to see this "legend" again? No. Quite simply, we've seen her once now and some things you just don't return to.


  4. Anonymous1:16 pm

    Mary had a fantastically strong voice and put on a great performance and the band worked well together, Snake Davis was superb once again on the sax, flute, percussions and everything else!

  5. Anonymous9:22 pm

    I'm inclined to agree with the 1st and 3rd reviews on this page, and some of reviewer number 2. Mary shouted (if you all that "strong" then you don't know what singing is!). Her performance was sloppy and unprofessional and she looked like she needed some style counselling.
    Her saving grace was her backing group and band.
    VERY DISGRUNTLED!!...oh and next time, how about GIVING some tickets away to boost the audience count next time?

    2/10 for the band and backing singers



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