Nevertheless, I was delighted to discover they haven’t lost their appeal doing what they do best – performing raw soul music extremely well.
The fabulous 10-piece outfit recently celebrated their 21st birthday. The band was formed in 1990, just months before the film The Commitments was released. This hugely successful movie, together with their excellent choice of music, helped establish them as the ultimate party band.
The Gate was packed full of people of all ages and the band started their set with a stylish flourish. As they launched into Bottom by The Bum Notes, (the theme tune to the TV comedy series) the alto saxophone, tenor saxophone player and trumpet players made their entrance walking around the crowd before joining the rest of the band on stage. Frontman Mike ‘Mac’ McNamara took to the stage for their next number, Living in America.
By the time they launched into the next song from their soulful jukebox, Sugar Pie Honey by The Four Tops, the crowd was up and dancing. As each new song kicked in, more of the crowd moved from their seats to the dance floor to twist, dance and jive to Twisting the Night Away, Buttercup and Hold Back the Night.
We heard Big Mac’s take on such classics as You To Me Are Everything from The Real Thing, Superstition by Stevie Wonder, I Heard It Through The Grapevine by Marvin Gaye, Lucille by Little Richard, Car Wash by Rose Royce, and Billy Ocean’s Love Really Hurts.
The dance floor was packed as their set reverberated to the strains of Mustang Sally, Love Train, Midnight Hour, My Girl, and Stand By Me.
While the audience may have spanned the generations, all enjoyed the popular soul music from Mike McNamara and his talented female singing companions, Sarah Miles Callow and Amanda Seed.
Let’s hope we can enjoy gigs from this ever popular party band for the next 21 years!