The Real Thing Q&A + ‘Everything’ Screening – Review – Square Chapel, Halifax
By @Steve Crabtree, February 2020
Four talented lads from Liverpool take the music world by storm. You’ll have heard that a thousand times when it comes to musical history. But this time, there’s a whole different story behind the legend.
This time, the legend is The Real Thing. Maybe most famous for ‘You To Me Are Everything’, they’re currently out and about, showing off their new film Everything to theatres up and down the country, with the two surviving members meeting fans and answering their questions afterwards.
“Their ride wasn’t always as smooth as their vocals”
I was invited along to see a screening with the brilliant people of the Square Chapel Arts Centre, Halifax. And if there’s a chance to catch it near you, go along. Because it’s a film that’ll open your eyes, make you go wow, and make you move your feet.
Director Simon Sheridan has done a fab job. He’s explored Britain’s first black music revolution, and delivered a flick rich in entertainment and nostalgia. It’s a great watch for fans of the group, and fans of the era. But it also goes sweetly under those layers to open your eyes to the lives of The Real Thing when they weren’t on stage.
It comes with a mix of footage. There’s the shiny, soulful performance material that gets you wanting to dance. And there’s raw 70s Liverpool footage that hits home just how contrasting times were for The Real Thing. The first black British group to get to number one, who shocked people by talking in a Scouse accent and not an American voice. The film showcases their talents and their tunes, and it focuses on the band finding acceptance during a time of rife racism in Britain.
“Dying to get up and disco”
And if you needed reminding how good they were, the soundtrack only enriches the story. The depth of ‘Children of the Ghetto’ is a highlight. And the funkability factor of ‘Can You Feel The Force’ makes you wish you were standing at one of their gigs. Me and my friends were dying to get up and disco.
Everything is a story that needed to be told. It’s a fascinating one that should probably have been told sooner, and it’s not just merely another documentary to fill space on one of the arts channels on satellite TV.
And the two surviving members, Chris Amoo and Dave Smith were welcomed to Halifax with cheers and applause after the film. A Q&A impeccably hosted by Alex Cann saw the lads answer questions about prejudice, struggles and success. We found out more about their music, and their association with Crufts!
And despite losing two of their members, they only look back with fondness at their history. They’re in their sixties, and they’re still cool. And they’re great guys. Their appearance carried on the feel-good factor that the film was all about.
Everything isn’t a film you watch once. It’s one that if you’ve seen it and your friends haven’t – you watch it again with them.