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
Film review Michael Glatze biopic isn't about a self-hating gay man gone straight
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Germanwings plane crash: Video shows co-pilot Andreas Lubitz learning to fly as a teenager
- 2 Germanwings crash: Captain of doomed plane was only 'on board because he changed job to spend more time with his children'
- 3 Ohio Democrat Teresa Fedor speaks out during abortion debate to reveal she has been raped – and is interrupted by laughter from Republicans
- 4 Germanwings plane crash: Transcript reveals passengers 'screamed for over five minutes' before plane crashed into mountain
- 5 Germanwings crash: 'Andreas Lubitz planned to marry pregnant girlfriend', claims German report
Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams to make special guest appearance in Doctor Who
Cassetteboy joins forces with Russell Brand for Emperor's New Clothes film
Poldark, review: Demelza’s insouciance is almost as impressive as Ross’ pecs
Jay Z launches streaming service Tidal with help from Kanye West, Rihanna and Coldplay
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew