The Real Thing at Jazz Cafe 13-7-17
Greetings on this mid Bomb The Bass. ‘ Winter In July’ looking Flashback Friday morning. Like the Esther William’s classic ‘Last Night Changed It All’ for me after finally managing to get to see and meet 3 of the remaining other Fab 4 from the home of Brookside Liverpool, Eddie & Chris Amoo and Dave Smith of The Real Thing( the name inspired after seeing the Coca Cola sign in Piccadilly London). I had previously interviewed Eddie in 2011 and spoke with his brother Chris the lead vocalist last year. We spoken on the phone and communicated via email but ‘ Never’ like Centrestage ( great Patrick Adams’ disco classic ) met. Their history is an interesting one coming from L8 Liverpool. Eddie Amoo as a teenager was a part of an all black accapella Doo Wop act called The Chants as far back as 1962 who performed at the famous Cavern venue and massively impressed The Beatles. So much so The Beatles asked to back them and The Chants ended up being managed by Beatles manager Brian Epstein.
Fast forward a decade like an old school TDK tape, Eddie’s younger bro Chris co founded Vocal Perfection which Eddie eventually joins and they become The Real Thing. They release ‘Vicious Circle’ on Bell Records and end up on the reality TV of the time platform Opportunity Knocks. Beaten by a yodeller and undeterred, TRT end up having a world wide hit with ‘U 2 Me R Everything’ written by Ken Gold. They worked and toured with David Essex and War Of The Worlds Jeff Wayne and penned a classic covered by MJ Blige, Courtney Pine and EWF’s Philip Bailey, the socially conscious bad by ‘ Children Of The Ghetto’. They decided embarrassingly (management decision) to ‘ Let’s Go Disco’ for Joan Collin’s film ‘The Bitch’ but redeemed them selves with ‘Can You Feel The Force?’ , my first ever bought 12 inch and my fave and underestimated ‘Boogie Down’. I’ve always been a closet ‘secret lemonade drinker’ esq fan of the group and in particular Chris’s Teddy Pendergrass gravel like voice.
The concert at Jazz Cafe was brilliant with women acting ‘Young And Foolish’ regressing like Benj Button to acting like crazed love crushed teenagers. Chris’s lead vocal is untarnished after 40 plus years and Dave and Eddie’s vocal BV’s and harmonies, are like their previous name, that of ‘Vocal Perfection’ The concert was filmed as part of a documentary on TRT by Teddy Bear productions, and I had the honour of presenting the group with the well deserved Best Male Vocal Group of 40 years Soul Survivors Magazine Award from Feb 2017, on stage with them last night. It was great meeting the guys last night and you can catch them bank holiday weekend August at Soul Train in Bristol regardless of whether you’re a ‘Plastic Man’ , ‘Saint Or Sinner’ or travelling from ‘ Stanhope Street’. It’ll be worth it like L’Oréal as ‘ You’ll Never Know What You’re Missing’ should you if ‘ Don’t Go’ as sung by Sheila B Devotion !!