Movin' Melvin Brown
Tap dance and song homage to African American music
This article is from 2010.
Hitting last year’s Fringe as Ray Charles (and Sammy Davis Jr), the majestic Movin’ Melvin this time around takes us on a song and tap-dancing journey from African slavery to the American roots of soul music, through songs of gospel and R&B.
Backed by exotic soulmate Francesca, plus a funky four-piece band, the Texas showman pulls off the odd Sam Cooke and Ray Charles tribute by way of ‘Chain Gang’ and ‘That Lucky Old Sun’ respectively. On his first of many backstage apparel adjustments (from dungarees to sharp suit), his humour shines through when he exemplifies what it’d be like if ‘Michael Jackson had joined Riverdance’.
Like all the best tribute acts, Melvin gives an insight to what it might’ve been to witness the great Otis Redding; his passionate and heartfelt mimicry of ‘Satisfaction’ and ‘Hard To Handle’, are beyond belief – maybe no blood, but there’s plenty sweat and tears.
Off again, he’s back with curly wig and a tight, shiny one-piece for the ‘Sex Machine’ that was James Brown. The singer rounds off events with an invitation to two ladies to join him in ‘The Twist’ and every dance craze under the sun-like spotlight, bringing the curtain down with the poignant, ‘Can’t Turn You Loose’.
The Bongo Club, 37 Holyrood Road, 557 2827, until Aug 30, 7pm, £12(£11).