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Shalamar’s faithful friends felt On Top of the World with a fabulous 40th anniversary gig at the Cambridge Corn Exchange.

Written by on December 10, 2023

The mighty 80s R&B legends certainly knew how to make us feel good with a concert packed full of soul and club classics, incredible dance moves and even a marriage proposal.

Carolyn Griffey, Jeffrey Daniel and Howard Hewett’s theme for the night was sharing the love, as they held up their hands in a heart sign, thanking the crowd for over 40 years of loving their music.

The night’s celebrations began with two brilliant support acts who were also adored back in the 80s – the soul songstress Jaki Graham, and Lauraine McIntosh of pop funk band, The Cool Notes, famous for tunes such as In Your Car and Spend the Night.

Warming up the crowd before the main act, Jaki Graham proved her strong vocals haven’t diminished with the passing of time, with amazing renditions of Set Me Free, Round and Around and Could it be I’m falling in Love.

The party was in full swing by the time Shalamar entered the stage, opening with the title track of their top 10 Platinum album, Friends. This gem from the 80s produced four top 20 singles, all of which are now huge club classics and still loved by an appreciative audience, both original fans and a younger audience.

The crowd was treated to the full album of songs, transporting them back to their teenage bedrooms as they listened to hits including There It Is, I Can Make You Feel Good and A Night to Remember, getting them dancing in the aisles.

Sharing notes of a different kind, the band showered the audience with ‘Friends Dollars’ as they performed their classic hit, Take That to the Bank, definitely friends with benefits!

Slowing down the tempo, Shalamar then treated the crowd to some feel-good soul ballads which saw Howard serenading a grateful fan in the front row with I Just Stopped By Because I Had To.

The romance was elevated even more with a live marriage proposal by two lovebirds in the audience during a rendition of This is For the Lover in You, celebrated by the band and crowd when she said “Yes!”.

No Shalamar gig would be complete without the fancy footwork of legendary mover Jeffrey Daniel, who wowed the crowd with his body popping, moonwalking and mesmerising robotic dance routines. He really is a one-off, who even inspired Michael Jackson, who adopted Jeffrey’s backslide as his trademark moonwalk.

The celebrations continued apace with a special tribute to Carolyn Griffey by Jeffrey and Howard, who gave a heartfelt thank you to their bandmate for being the longest serving third member.

Mutual respect was also paid by the enduring Shalamar duo Howard and Jeffrey, who reminisced about their long musical journey together, paying tribute to their loyal Friends fans who have had the pleasure of enjoying Shalamar’s music for over four decades.

Night to Remember? You can bet your ‘Friends Dollar’ on it!


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