Music review: Chic featuring Nile Rodgers, IndigO2, London
“We're going to start with a song we did for Diana Ross, then another song we did for Diana Ross and then one we did for Sister Sledge - and we’re going to keep going until we take it to the top floor.”
If a performer can say this to an audience - having opened with "Everybody Dance", "Dance Dance Dance" and "I Want Your Love" - you know you’re in good hands. Nile Rodgers’ words are delivered, like the whole performance, with effortless, commanding cool. Dressed all in white, with backing singers in angel get-up, the stage is set for a shamelessly good-fun selection of songs that each owe their existence to Chic.
"I’m Coming Out", "Upside Down", and "We Are Family" are the Ross-Ross-Sledge trio. Then there's "He’s the Greatest Dancer" before Rodgers announces they wrote the next track for a French artist; everyone cheers. "But it’s not Daft Punk," he adds, and the cheers turn to mock boos. Instead, it is "Spacer", produced for Sheila and B. Devotion. Playing this lesser-known hit when Chic have such a high-calibre back catalogue to pick from - from Jackson to Jagger - shows that tonight is, above all, about the love of disco.
When it comes to big hitters, you can't really beat Madonna’s "Like a Virgin" and Bowie’s "Let’s Dance", the former sung by one of the angelic backing girls, the latter by the impressive bass-voiced drummer. "Rapper’s Delight" by Sugarhill Gang, one of the first hip hop tracks to find mainstream success, elevates the set above just an excuse to play the hits. The guitar riff is taken from Chic’s "Good Times", and it makes for a more subtle exploration of the band’s musical DNA.
The only thing to let the performance down is the venue. A soulless, funkless space with a terrible sound system that leaves people able to talk in un-raised voices on the balcony.
Tonight Chic played largely the same set that they’ve been touring with all summer and in the fickle world of music, it’s not hard to imagine that the wave their surfing will break as quickly as it rose. But with another Daft Punk collaboration in the offing, and a host of other artist’s tracks still unplundered - Bob Dylan, Grace Jones, D’Angelo - we may find ourselves inhabiting what Rodgers calls the band's "happy-music universe" a little while longer yet.
Watch the pair performing 'Good Times' at Glastonbury 2013
Review: Of Mice and Men
By opportunistic local hoping to exhibit the work
Fans will be hoping the role finally wins him an Oscar
What do gigantic horse heads tell us about Falkirk?
Finnish Postal Service praises the 'self irony and humour' of the drawings
The actor has confessed to his own insecurities
Allotments are the focus of a new reality show
Arts & Ents blogs
Game of Thrones writer George RR Martin releases extract from new book
King Charles III London Underground theatre poster pixelated amid fears it might cause offence
The best movies on Netflix: 32 films that will end your endless scrolling
Grace Dent on TV: Game of Thrones has jumped the shark
Kingdom Tower: Construction of 1km high new world’s tallest building to begin next week in Saudi Arabia
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
Nigel Farage fatigue? Half of voters ‘immune’ to Ukip’s appeal
'Sinful': Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy comes under attack
Nigel Farage: I’m taking on the status quo, and the Establishment’s fighting back
Refugee facing deportation from Sweden saved by fellow passengers refusing to let plane leave
- 1 Easter egg hunt horror as mother finds dead body under deck of house
- 2 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 3 Unbeliebable: The White House offer 'no comment' to anti-Justin Bieber petition
- 4 Loch Ness Monster found on Apple Maps?
- 5 How We Met: Alison Moyet & Emma Kennedy: 'I knew we'd be friends because she was happy to make a prat of herself'