Shalamar will celebrate the 40th anniversary of Friends album by performing the entire album live in concert for the first time!
The Friends 40th Anniversary show comes to The London Palladium in June 2023 and for the very first time the band will perform the entire album live in concert –all 10 tracks from the album in full. As Howard Hewett lead singer said “throughout the years we’ve played the 4 hit singles plus varying other tracks from the album but never the whole 10 tracks, for a lot of people ( over a million copies were sold in the uk alone) Friends was their ‘go to’ album of the early 80’s. Indeed in the days of soul boy cars such as Fiesta XR2i and Escort XR3i the sound of ‘Friends’ blasting out the in car speaker system was ever present!”
Let’s go back to the Autumn of 1982 The Hottest concert was not for any of the New Romantic bands currently appearing in the charts but for SHALAMAR , the soul disco band put together by Solar Records head man Dick Griffiths who had earlier in the year released the ‘Friends’ album in the UK.
The Friends album delivered 4 Top 10 hit singles – Night to Remember , There It is , Friends and I can make you feel good – but more importantly a dance craze – never seen before in the UK by group member Jeffrey Daniel – exploding after a single solo performance on Top of The Pops – The Moon walk had taken the nation by storm.
A sold out UK Tour – including 9 sold out London shows – culminating in a final show at Wembley Arena saw the band emerge as the ‘hottest ticket’ in town!!
Over the years the fashions and era of soul and dance music have evolved – but as Daryl Easlea puts in his review below – “And, for people of a certain age, it is almost impossible not to lift your right elbow up in a herky-jerky motion when you hear Ernest ‘Pepper’ Reed’s guitar introduction of A Night to Remember. Lovely.”
Since then the band has evolved and in 2003 saw the daughter of Solar Records Founder Dick Griffey join the band as the female lead vocalist. Carolyn Griffey now fronts the band alongside original members Howard Hewett and Jeffrey Daniel – from the classic 1982 line up.
The trio have toured the UK several times since the turn of the century and unlike some bands from the era who find themselves playing to smaller venues on each subsequent tour – are now playing venues of comparable size to their 1982 tour – backed by a solid 7 piece band they are guaranteed crowd pleasers and headliners at many Summer Festivals. Indeed it’s been known on more than one occasion for a ‘bigger’ band to insist going on stage before Shalamar – as they are a hard act to follow. As Jeffrey Daniel says “A Shalamar concert is not a band playing to an audience – it’s a band and an audience having a party together, from the first song people are up off their seats having a good time”.