Sunday, 14 March 2010

Motown's Greatest Hits How Sweet It Is Assemby Hall Theatre Tunbridge Wells 14th March 2010 Review

Motown's Greatest Hits 
How Sweet It Is
Assemby Hall Theatre
Tunbridge Wells
14th March 2010

Well as it was only a month ago we saw this great Motown show (in Eastbourne) there is very little to add as regards to the quality of the show which was, as before, excellent.

As the Assemby Hall is considerably smaller than Eastbourne's Congress Theatre the show's producer, Peter Brent, is able to adjust the number of performers to suit each venue.

The 'Motown Brothers' after their Tunbridge Wells showDid this affect the quality of the show? Not in the slightest! The uninitiated who had never seen a Peter Brent production before would have been none the wiser that not only do the number of superb singers vary but the band members themselves vary as Peter has a pool of musicians which he uses up and down the country as required.

In this particular show we had 4 male and one female Motown specialist.

But other than the change in the number of singers it was the same show as Eastbourne right? Actually we were amazed but it wasn't. It was like watching a different show altogether. Yes, obviously many of the tracks were the same (you can't take out some of the Motown favourites) but there was a lot of difference between the two shows both musically and in presentation.

I should mention that Motown, How Sweet It It seems to have the ability to achieve what many of today's, perhaps more familiar, acts can't. That is the ability to get their audience on their feet dancing, and screaming, without being told that they can do so. The sizeable audience in Tunbridge Wells were on their feet in the aisles throughout the show.

A sign of a great show is how fast the time seems to go. The interval, after an hour, seemed to arrive in no time. 20 minutes later the remaining hour and ten minutes (ish) went equally as fast.

Peter Brent the man behind a marvellous Motown productionPeter Brent (who also plays in and directs the band) and his partner Arlene Johnson (who deals with everything front of house and behind the scenes) try not to promote the show as a "tribute" show. This is because it is not meant to be a "Stars In Your Eyes" type production, impersonating a particular Motown star.

This is actually a sensible move as you won't see a single attempt at directly replicating any Motown artist. Instead you get talented, powerful, entertaining and friendly singers delivering a consistently superb performance regardless of the original singer(s).

Peter and Arlene work extremely hard to ensure every production is first class. It doesn't matter whether they are doing a gig or a wedding they are both at every function preferring a hands-on approach. That dedication to quality is reflected in the outstanding end product. Anybody who books Motown, How Sweet It Is for their wedding or special event is going to have an event they will never forget.

If you would like to discuss booking the act please contact Arlene via

Having met this delightful couple, and their performers, albeit briefly it really does seem that in assembling all their artists they really have created one big, happy, performing family.

The tour dates aren't on the main web site although you can subscribe to the newsletter to get updates on tour dates. If you need upcoming dates at-a-glance though look here where you will not only find the gig dates but also short independent show reviews (they are all, not surprisingly, glowing reviews)

In an ideal world I would have liked to have been able to embed some video clips here so you can see just how good the show is. But with nothing available on You Tube (this may be for copyright reasons in relation to the original Motown artists) you'll just have to take my word for it.

Finally though back to show and there was one big change from Eastbourne's show and what a refreshing change it was - a female drummer. It's funny but having met the lovely Sophie after the Tunbridge Wells show I thought I'd do a search to try to find her surname to give a bit more credit. Unfortunately the only easy things to find are articles on "female drummers struggle to be taken seriously". What a joke that is. The only reason that can be is the sexism factor in that males are more usually seen on drums.

Well good on Peter for not discriminating against female drummers. This isn't the first show she's done for Motown, How Sweet It Is - she is one of their main drummers now. Sophie you are just as good as any male on the drums and we look forward to seeing you again one day soon.

Well that's me finished proving I'm not a male chauvinist pig............ now where's the wife to make me a cup of tea?

Hope to see the show back down this way soon!
5 out of 5 Motown How sweet It is
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