Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, "100 Days, 100 Nights" (MP3)
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I remember one time, racing backstage to greet (mid-Eighties, perfect Scots amalgam of the Ramones and Sixties girl groups) Shop Assistants, shaking with sweat, annoyed at the futility of expressing in words the headiness of the dance experience.
I felt like a failure: enthusiasm is nothing if not eloquently expressed.
Last Saturday night, Sharon Jones And The Dap-Kings delivered. There was never the slightest shred of doubt they wouldn’t. The subtlest nuances of the CD and record packaging – the gold strap high heels that Sharon wears on the sleeve of their third album, 100 Days 100 Nights, the backlit orange, the lettering, the way the tenor saxophone cuts in just so – led me to believe a while back, and believe fervently. And, of course, the music: anyone can replicate the sequence of notes and rhythm changes and sharp suits of James Brown’s horn section, given enough time and trucker-speed. Anyone can warble their scales in the bath, or hold a note wavering and long until it takes on every semblance of meaning. Anyone can talk deep and low and preacher-confiding over a glitzy array of guitars and horn players, given a fair hearing. That is not what we’re talking about here. (Although, of course, all this was going on.)
As some classic pre-gig conversation went in the urinals beforehand: slightly podgy, late Forties, ‘soul’ type to bearded Forties ex-Mod: “I’m looking forward to this.” “Uh-huh.” “Some real soul at last.” “Damn straight.”More »