Saturday night dilemma; keen to catch Calne’s The Compact Pussycat at the Southgate, but as eclectic as my musical tastes may be, primarily I’m a soul man, and couldn’t resist The Devizes Scooter Club’s highly anticipated All That Soul night.
So, coming to them, on a dusty road, a good idea sparked… because I’ve a truckload (!); on the premise All That Soul are merely a covers band bookable for weddings and such functions, I imagined they’d only be yay-good, so I’d skip between the two…simples. My apologies to Jordan, Jack and the other compact pussy-cats, but from the moment Bedfordshire band All That Soul stepped onto the stage at the Cons Club the music changed, the plan was rearranged, and I didn’t dance somewhere else.
I kid you not, they were the soul cover band equivalent of Star Trek’s Borg, in matching frocks; resistance was futile. They assimilated me, half the population of Devizes, and reassigned our honky booties from the bar to the dance floor. With irresistible charisma and panache from the off, they filled the Cons Club with a plethora of chic Motown and Atlantic soul classics.
The backing band played tight, never missing a beat, as three sublime divas harmonised vocals to mimic any or all of the powerful soul singers of yore. From Dancing in the Street to Jimmy Mack, personal fav For Once in My Life, and an unrehearsed adaption of Stevie Wonder’s Happy Birthday to appease a birthday guest, they owned them all, most aptly singing a rendition of Aretha Franklin’s Say a Little Prayer; no simple feat.
It was now clear any deliberations they are a run-of-the-mill wedding band was very much mistaken, and images from Adam Sandler’s comedy were cast aside. You’ll always remember your wedding function but if you invited All That Soul, no guest would ever forget it either.
They knocked it out of the park, returning for a second half now attired in beautiful disco garb, they continued with 70s funk and soul anthems to flood the dance floor again. Anyone who can replicate Lady Marmalade with such precision and soul will take your breath away. Go on, you try it, preferably in your car with the windows wound up; I know you have!
Quashing my thoughts of disappearing to the Southgate, safe in the knowledge the band there will return to town soon, I was unable to pull myself away from their superb show. Despite their professionalism, it never once felt like the band were going through the motions mundanely, it never felt engineered, but produced an electric atmosphere of joyful dedication to their labour, genuinely lapping up every nonstop second.
The surging crowd of all ages adored this attitude, welcomed them with open arms as they dazzled us with a simply fantastic show. Nothing else was needed tonight, as the customary raffle sat unmanned till the end. It proves the Devizes Scooter Club is far from a bunch of middle-aged devotees standing around discussing Lambretta parts, but a serious contender for promoting musical extravaganzas with a taste for the alternative to the norm here.
As you’re most probably aware I delight in designing the posters for the club. For this one a low-res logo was sent to me which by using would’ve pixelated the image when reproduced. I took a while to replicate it then, tricky to get a gold effect on my program. I’m glad I persevered as it was symbolic, All That Soul’s performance was nothing less than pure gold.