Sunday, 25 October 2009

Smokey Robinson at the Electric Proms.

So, we saw Smokey Robinson play in London last night, as part of the Electric Proms. And I tell you what, he was brilliant. At 69 years of age, his voice and his dance moves were both startlingly good. He was positively frugging. And I can't imagine how his voice could sound any better. Smooth but smoky. He kept us entertained with little stories – quite a few about the Temptations who sang many of his songs, and who he called 'The Temps' which would be a great name for a band – and basically delivered a polished show, straight from a bygone era when singers wore suits and sang love songs. Everyone sang along, sometimes in three part harmony, as directed by Smokey – I mean, who can resist singing My Girl... My Girl... My Girl!  As Vice President of Motown throughout its heyday and the writer of so many amazing songs (see here for a list), it's incredible that he is also a masterful entertainer and yeah, possessor of an incredible voice as well. But I suppose some people are just born to be awesome. The concert is being shown tonight on BBC2 at 11pm, or on iPlayer if you miss it.


  1. Damn! I remember you flagging it up on here and thought "oh yeah, I better get onto that, otherwise I'll forget until they're sold out"... and waddya know!

    Glad it was great though - he is a proper icon and I don't know why he's not more celebrated.

    Did he play 'Just my Soul Responding'. Epic Vietnam protest song, Sioux chanting and a bit of Happy Birthday thrown in?

    I know the competition is tough but it's my favourite thing he recorded (controversial!).

  2. Argh! Never heard that before and just listened - Smokey, what did you do?! Oh dear. Was that supposed to be his 'What's Going On?'


  3. is that one of your photos? None of mine managed to turn out like that!

  4. I don't remember you taking any photos?

    Yeah, it's mine, although slightly sharpened in Photoshop.

  5. Seriously? I do really love that song! It's obviously completely nuts I agree, there's no getting away from that. But it's lovely all the same. I would have been heckling the old boy for it at every interval so probably best I wasn't there.

  6. Erm, well I was laughing when I listened to it?

    But I'll try again.

    It was the Happy Birthday that got me going, and then yeah, the chanting...!

    (Don't let me ruin it for you, tho!)