Frankie Oliver at the 100 Club
Brilliant soul singer Frankie Oliver showcased his remarkable talent last night at the 100 Club, returning to the music scene with his new album Here I Am (out 9th June) and his BBC Radio 2 Playlisted single Tell Me, after being on hiatus for a while.
Accompanied by a terrific and gifted ensemble of musicians, with two back-up singers and a large repertoire of instruments – three guitars, a trumpet, saxophone, keyboard, two violins and drums – the band’s vibe was personable, relaxed and very cool.
A dynamic, spirited jam of supercharged funk opened the show, an anticipatory preview of Frankie Oliver’s appearance on stage, and with lively élan the singer performed most of the tracks from his new record Here I Am: the superb, bluesy Gone Are the Days, the Motown-sounding Honey (I’m on Fire), the stirring Temptations-style Love is Overdue, and the terrific R&B How Many Times, with its Marvin Gaye tonality and an orchestration that recalls The Blues Brothers.
The atmosphere in the club was convivial and intimate – like a big party – and Oliver chatted and encouraged the crowd to participate. With his exquisite She’s Beautiful (“A lot of people think this should be my next single.”) reminding of My Girl this was one of the artist’s best. Prompting viewers to sing along, he was clearly having as much fun as we were and the mood was upbeat and energised. The 1997 reggae song Give Her What She Wants was next, followed by the lovely slow, deep soul ballad My Kinda Woman. Wrapping up with the expressive Man at My Window, the encore included the awesome blues hit solo Tell Me, and finally the 1996 reggae tune She Lied to Me, evidently a favourite and a catalyst for some vivacious dancing all around.
Frankie Oliver is a man who suspended a successful music career to focus on his family – losing his parents having given him perspective on his priorities. He has an integrity and honesty that are reflected in his music, as are his innate creativity, his sheer contagious enjoyment of his art, and his sympathetic and amicable connection with his fans.
For further information about Frankie Oliver and future events visit here.
Watch the video for Tell Me here: