Shalamar – Live Review – Halifax Victoria Theatre

Shalamar Halifax Victoria Thratre Review

By Steve Crabtree, June 2024

I’m a little too young to have been around when the music that featured on Soul Train in America came to prominence.  But, when disco, groove and soul sounds as good as it did back then, it stays around for generations.

Shalamar, who were brought together as a result of that very TV programme, are still performing to hoards of fans throughout the UK, 40 years into their career. And, as a fan of the genre and everything Shalamar do, I was delighted to be there, watching them in my home town of Halifax.

And in a double treat for the night, it was the voice of Rose Royce, Gwen Dickey who opened things up for us. A lady whose voice is still incredible, she treated us to hits such as ‘Wishing On A Star’, ‘Ooh Boy’ and ‘Car Wash’.  A great choice to have in support, I saw her here in Halifax last year and both times she’s wowed everyone who watched her.

Shalamar Halifax Victoria Thratre Review

“Up on your feet”

Now, I’ll forever be confused as to why somewhere operates as a seating only venue when groups like Shalamar are in town. I always think that, if you’re able, you’ll want to be up on your feet to enjoy their show to its fullest. But when Shalamar took to the stage, the whole of Victoria Theatre were up and dancing. And the bonus for me was my favourite tune of theirs, ‘Make That Move’ kicked off their set.

Thankfully, we barely sat down for the rest of the evening, as vocalist Howard Hewett led Carolyn Griffey and Jeffrey Daniel through a huge repertoire of hits and crowd-pleasers.

Friends’ followed, and ‘Sweeter As The Days Go By’ sounded beautiful. Our legs had a bit of a break when the more mellow beats of ‘Over and Over’ and ‘The Lover In You’ came into the setlist.

But for the rest of the night, Halifax was moving! Cue ‘Take That To The Bank’, ‘Second Time Around’ and ‘There It Is’. Just some of a strong lineup of tunes that we knew, loved and sang along to.

Shalamar Halifax Victoria Thratre Review

“Love and appreciation”

One thing Shalamar do in every show is make it clear how much they appreciate their fans. Or friends as they prefer to call them. And, throughout the night, they didn’t stop showing us love and appreciation.  One moving moment came when Carolyn spoke to a lady in the front row whose husband had passed away. Another nice touch came when they showed the crowd an illustration of Jeffrey from many years ago, drawn by a talented member of the audience.

More hits came, as did more disco. ‘Dancing In The Sheets’ was energetic. ‘Full Of Fire’ was too. And, so was Halifax, we could have carried this on for hours.

Obviously, when Jeffrey Daniel is in town, his dance moves are as exciting as the music.  YouTube him, especially his performance on Top Of The Pops in 1982.  And we were all waiting for his signature back-slide dance that he taught Michael Jackson, which he re-branded as the moonwalk. All night, he teased us as if it was about to come… but he left us waiting. And waiting. But, when it came, it certainly made its mark! It provided the introduction to the prolonged encore of ‘A Night To Remember’.

It was a brilliant way to end a brilliant concert. And to say Jeffrey and Howard are in their 60s, Carolyn in her 50s – the energy and quality of their performance is pretty mindblowing.

Shalamar just keep going, and their tunes are as fresh today as they have been for over 40 years.


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