Weymouth Pavilion

WEYMOUTH’S soul boys and girls were out in force to welcome the return of legendary Liverpool funkateers The Real Thing.

Just two years after their gig at the Pavilion with Odyssey and the boys are back in town, this time without founder member and lead singer Eddie Amoo who sadly passed away back in February at the age of 73.

But brother Chris and fellow frontman Dave Smith were out to prove, to paraphrase one the band’s biggest hits, they CAN get by without you.

And of course they did, with plenty to spare.

Emerging through smoke, flashlights and a backdrop of urban graffiti much like their Scouse roots, Chris and Dave, dressed all in white and belying their combined 132 years of age, rapped their lines like two sparring boxers, trading punches.

Their moves might be little more sedate but those throaty vocals were still in fine fettle as they rendered the Pavilion’s seating policy obsolete with the aisles and front of stage filled by an audience who collectively turned up wearing their dancing pants.

The boys slowed things down a bit as they remembered and paid tribute to Eddie with an epic take of Children of the Ghetto, from their 1977 album 4 from 8, subsequently covered by Philip Bailey and Courtney Pine.

But it’s the biggies we came to hear and Chris and Dave just pointed their microphones out to us and received a football terrace response of You To Me Are Everything in return. Perhaps not The Sweetest Song I Can Sing, but you get the picture.

Top marks to the band of Danny Rose on drums, Jon Bower on bass, John Chapman on sax, Sam Edwards on keys and Stuart Ancell on guitar for some seriously funky playing and they left us with a question as an encore: Can You Feel the Force?

I’m pretty sure we all know the answer to that one…