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REVIEW: Motown magic is undiminished

PUBLISHED: 14:59 15 April 2010 | UPDATED: 15:52 05 October 2010

TAMLA Motown s first British tour in the 1960s was in danger of disappearing without trace until a TV appearance prompted by Dusty Springfield raised the profile. Now, nearly 50 years on, the label s motor city connections have long gone – but the magic i

TAMLA Motown's first British tour in the 1960s was in danger of disappearing without trace until a TV appearance prompted by Dusty Springfield raised the profile.

Now, nearly 50 years on, the label's motor city connections have long gone - but the magic is undiminished.

The 02 was not sold out, but the thousands of fans who flocked to the Greenwich arena on Friday for the 10th and final date of The Greatest Hits tour were not disappointed as the night lived up to its billing.

The Three Degrees, from a different vintage, warmed up with a medley, culminating in their anthem, When Will I See You Again, before The Drifters, The Four Tops and The Temptations made sure that nostalgia is all that it used to be.

Bizarrely, The Drifters, in between the instantly recognisable Kissing In The Back Row Of The Movies, Save the Last Dance for Me, Saturday Night At The Movies and Under the Board Walk, introduced a new single, Do You Dream Of Me - apparently metamorphosing into any boy band you care to mention.

The Four Tops, who stayed together for a remarkable 43 years and whose line-up has changed only due to the ravages of time, were faultess, almost.

Such is the extent of their vast repertoire that they had to lapse, sadly, into a couple of megamix-type segues and, not surprisingly, the raw power of the late Levi Stubbs's voice is hard to replace, especially for the towering Reach Out. Nevertheless, they remain the fab four - from Loco in Acapulco to I Can't Help Myself.

The Temptations - led by their only original member, Otis Williams - sang and danced in their inimitable style, with characteristic range of vocals.

They signed off with Just My Imagination, a rousing ending to nearly three hours of magnificent memories, which left all concerned leaping up for more - even if that was a physical improbability for these creaking joints.

Tim Trew

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