Launching into those unique liquid harmonies, we are reminded of why Sister Sledge dominated the charts for so many years. There is simply nothing quite like those voices, Brighton was in for a musical treat.
Sister Sledge live in Brighton
Grammy nominated, the queens of disco have topped the Billboard chart, amassed a string of Gold and Platinum records accumulating in total worldwide sales of over 15,000,000, performed alongside a galaxy of stars including Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, Public Enemy and Andrea Bocelli and wowed festival goers on Glastonbury’s Pyramid Stage and Bestival. No party is complete, no dance floor sound is enough without a Sister Sledge track. Be it; We Are Family, He’s The Greatest Dancer, Thinking Of You or Lost In Music, Sister Sledge have provided us with the perfect soundtrack to our disco lives/lives.
The last time I think Sister Sledge played in Brighton was Pride back in 2016. They went down a storm on that hot summers night. Time for the return. Sister Sledge were headlining an all day event at the Brighton Centre as part of Discogs/Crate Diggers all day vinyl and live music festival.
‘He’s the Greatest Dancer’, opened up the set to a huge cheer from the sizeable crowd. The sisters stepped out and started with that song and a brilliantly choreographed dance routine. Frankie, a shorter version, was up next seamlessly following Greatest Dancer, that was from 1985 and a favourite of mine from the DJ days.
I have to say that this really was great fun. Two songs in and Sister Sledge had their audience right where they wanted them, transported back in time to the era of disco divas, glitterballs and light up dance floors.
There was a cheeky Chic song given an outing tonight in Brighton. We were treated to a Sister Sledge cover of the 1979 hit ‘Good Times’. The bass thumped loudly at us for this number and then the song, which would not have been complete otherwise, saw the girls improvise with the famous Sugarhill Gang rap. Superb!
We were also given a deliciously long version of Lost In Music. This did go on for a while as we got an intro to family members and the band. It worked and was topped off with a splendid drum solo. The sisters just belt it out, the crowd dance and romp around the Brighton Center and well, they just sing along, you have too. For a short while the outside world could be put to one side and everyone came together to have a good time. ‘Everybody Dance’ was in the set, which then led us into the 1981 single and all round fabulous ‘All American Girls’. This disco/party or indeed extravaganza showed no signs of slowing up! The crowd threw themselves into the music and atmosphere. This was a special, happy place to be.
As they continue to launch into those pure liquid gold harmonies, its easy to realise and remember just how these vocalists dominated and topped the charts around the world for so many years. Sure, the tunes were great, but you need a great vehicle to perform them. Also in the set was Thinking of You, which incorporated a delightful sax solo. We also were treated to Shout which was a real surprise. Sister Sledge had brought the glitter-ball, but also fire! Huge fireballs erupted from the stage at the appropriate moments. Terrific to witness and they also dished out some extra heat into the already hot venue.
A more sedate moment as lost loved ones, and a tribute to their grandmother, were remembered and we were given a beautiful rendition of Amazing Grace, dry ice smoke filled the stage and overflowed into the crowd, as we had a brief Gospel session. There was a 1-2-3-4 and were headed back into We Are Family. Fire balls erupted and a male dancer appeared on stage, not sure if he was part of the team or from the crowd. Just great fun. The band had their own slot and offered the opportunity to show off just how talented they were! Stunning musicians. Buried in there were slices of ‘Le Freak’ and also a superb slap-bass rendition of ‘Play That Funky Music’. It all just worked and it all came together to provide one of many of the nights memorable moments.
This I think turned into a 15 minute version of ‘We Are Family’ and it was clear this was going to be the last song. It’s one of those rare moments when everything comes together, the band, Sister Sledge, the songs, and a stunning venue and the crowd, it made you feel glad to be alive and there!
Although the set did not seem that long, I have to admit it was probably one of the most enjoyable times I have had in a while, and it was great to finally catch them live after missing them last time they played in Brighton.
Sister Sledge: A Video
The gig came to a close, there was no encore. It wasn’t really needed, I think it safe to say everyone, young and old, left having taken part with the fam in one of the most fun live shows you could wish for. I hope these guys continue to provide that magic that is theirs for some time yet.
Thank you Sister Sledge for a most enjoyable, danceable evening I will not forget. Just brilliant. Brighton got lost in music.
Sister Sledge are on the WWW
DISCOGS are on the WWW
Crate Diggers are on the WWW
And a huge thanks to top Brighton promotion team at We Love The Big Blue Shed:
BIG BLUE SHED IS A COLLECTIVE OF SUSSEX BASED MUSIC PROMOTERS WITH OVER A 100 YEARS EXPERIENCE OF PUTTING ON LIVE SHOWS BIG AND SMALL. THEY LOVE MUSIC AND LOVE BRINGING IT TO YOU. SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL VENUES, ARTISTS AND PROMOTERS.
Thanks to the wonderful team at The Brighton Centre – great sound and super friendly staff! They are on the WWW
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All original pictures / video – copyright to IAN BOURN / SCENE SUSSEX – Ian “The Lens” Bourn 2019.
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