Reviewed by Ann Durrell
Anyone growing up or going out throughout the 80’s and 90’s will know Alexander O’Neal’s voice. He is a giant of R&B, a King of soul with a seriously smooth and sexy back catalogue of hits. The Resurrected Tour marks the soon to be release of his first studio album of 15 years.
Warming up for the evening was Jay James, who performed a series of his own songs. James, did a good job getting the crowd going, he is endearing and has a great voice. Dropping lyrics mentioning David Hay and ‘high heels and insta pics’ was a little questionable but the tunes were toe tapping.
As soon as O’Neal came onto the stage you could feel the atmosphere electrify. His stage presence and charisma had the crowd going from the moment he appeared. It was a pity there were a few sound problems to the start of the show, but O’Neal identified them and ensured they were resolved.
The set list contained some of the greats such as ‘Fake’ and ‘My Sunshine’ and mid-way through we were treated to a mini medley of hits. All were performed with the vigour and suaveness we remember from O’Neal. It’s always difficult I think when an artist with such a well-known back catalogue tours with new material after such a long time. The crowd responded well to the one new track which was performed and it is really good!
The backing band and singers were also excellent including Romina Johnson of Artful Dodger ‘moving too fast’ fame who joined O’Neal on stage. The band and singers were given the stage for a couple of songs including crowd pleasing performance of Chaka Chans classic ‘I feel for you’.
In between songs O’Neal entertained with light hearted humour and snippets about his love for Manchester, the city he now calls home. Many of these chats with the crowd led to hints about the next song coming up which got the crowd even more excited.
O’Neal is a fantastic performer with an outstanding voice, if last night’s performance has anything to go by, has not looking to slow down, and why would you with a talent like he has!
For other shows The Lowry in Manchester visit www.thelowry.com or call the box office on 0843 208 6000.
The Lowry, Pier 8, Salford Quays, Manchester, M50 3AZ | 0843 208 6000