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Live Review: Movin' Melvin Brown - Soul To Soul (I Have A Dream)

31 January 2013 | 2:57 pm | Jake Dennis

The show’s highlight is his standout impersonation of James Brown.

Blessed with a powerful and mesmerising voice that resonates with emotion, a voice that reaches down into your gut, Movin' Melvin Brown is a showman whose style draws on the legends he admires: Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, Little Richard, and Sammy Davis. Jr. Soul to Soul (I Have A Dream) combines live music, powerful singing, storytelling, and energetic tap-dancing to create a show that is joyous in its celebration of soul.

The show starts on time with Brown in blue overalls, recalling the chain gangs, field songs, spirituals, and blues which set the foundation for soul. Sidestepping the development of jazz, he moves onto the RNB and soul of the Sixties after describing famous civil rights events such as the Montgomery Bus Boycott. After a nod to Michael Jackson with an impressive tap dance routine to Jackson's '90s hit Jam, Brown's show culminates in a show-stopping tribute to the Godfather of Soul.

Sightlines are limited by the Spiegeltent's even level seating which, for most, hides Brown's fancy footwork. However, the venue's layout caters for those inspired to get up and dance around the back of the room; two lucky ladies were even invited on stage as Brown led the audience in a host of popular dance moves like the twist, mash potato, and monkey. Grinning with pearly whites Brown must be grateful for the high calibre tight musical support from the suited gentlemen in his four-piece backing band who provide the solid gold foundation for his show.

Musically faultless powerhouse performer Movin' Melvin Brown could fill a small bucket with the sweat he drips. The fierce performer with a deep infectious laugh is an entertainer that has ladies, granddads, children, and gentlemen in their twenties cheering and clapping along. The show's only weakness is Brown's highly supportive yet musically middling MC who caused a few audience members to giggle. The show's highlight is his standout impersonation of James Brown.

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