Live Review: Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, The Bombay Royale, DJ Everton

16 September 2014 | 9:31 am | Erin Lawler

Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings give the people of Hobart what they want.

Getting the soul vibes started, DJ Everton spun some irresistible soul classics in the Odeon’s funky mezzanine bar before The Bombay Royale took to the stage in all their glory.

This outrageous 10-piece band out of Melbourne delivers a mad but beautiful blend of Bollywood and surf-rock. It’s like a dress up dance party, with zorro masks, unicorn hats, gorgeous saris and cop uniforms. If they were supporting any act other than Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, they might have outshone them.

The Dap-Kings filed onto the stage but there was no sign of our leading lady - the opening two songs were performed by the sparkly backup singers. The suspense was palpable as we awaited the amazing Sharon Jones, and the incredible band teased us with a Blues Brothers style intro. Finally, to raucous applause, ex-prison guard and cancer-kicker Sharon Jones strode onto stage and broke straight into song, looking absolutely dazzling in a sequined dress.

This tour is in support of their 2013 album, Give The People What They Want, the band’s fifth studio album and proof that a funk and soul revival band can be much more than a tribute to a genre of music. They played plenty of newer tracks – You’ll Be Lonely, We Get Along, and Stranger To My Happiness, plus a few from their back-catalogue including the 2007 gem 100 Days, 100 Nights.

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Jones spoke about discovering her cancer, from which she only recovered last year. “I didn’t think I’d see my 58th birthday,” she cried over a long soul intro, and proceeded to thank her legions of fans for their love and support, which she insisted, is “the reason I’m here tonight!”

After treating us to an outstanding Tina Turner impersonation, Jones dedicated her soul song Get Up, Get Out to her battle. The recorded version of this soul song is very gentle and sweet, but on this night it was belted out from the stage and from the audience in a moving act of solidarity against cancer.

The band then gave us an extensive class on old-school dance moves, taking us through the chicken, the mashed-potato, the twist, and the swim.

It was over all too quickly, this slice of soul which is too rare in far-away Tasmania. We had to work for our encore, creating a thunderous roar as we stomped the floorboards, and when Sharon Jones returned she screamed, “Do you really want it?” until we were coarse and tired, but deliriously happy.