Shalamar have announced extra dates for their 40th anniversary Friends tour, including playing back where it all began, at Croydon’s Fairfield Halls on December 1.
The soul funk sound that was such a part of the early 1980s has been wowing sold-out audiences across the country over the past month, including at the London Palladium and Birmingham Symphony Hall. Now the band has released extra dates for later in the year, including the Fairfield Halls.
Jeffrey Daniel’s appearance on Top of the Pops in June 1982 remains one of those moments people still talk about, as he introduced body-popping to a generation and made it… well… A Night To Remember.
This was the original Moon Walk.
The single taken from Shalamar’s sixth album, Friends, the record has been described as “supreme, shiny pop soul…. a joyous work, that although very much of its time, still manages to sound extremely contemporary”.
Shalamar’s Friends was as central to 1982 as ABC’s The Lexicon of Love or Simple Minds’ New Gold Dream, and included four Top 10 singles and reached No6 in the UK albums chart, selling 1million copies. It stayed in the album chart for the entire year.
Now Shalamar are returning to the UK this autumn, with original band members Daniel and Howard Hewett joined by Carolyn Griffey, the daughter of Solar Records founder Dick Griffey who had put the group together.
But of all the venues on their 2023 Friends anniversary tour, only one was a date that Shalamar played back in 1982: the Fairfield Halls.
The trio have toured the UK several times since the turn of the century and backed by a solid seven-piece band they are guaranteed crowd-pleasers at many summer festivals.
“A Shalamar concert is not a band playing to an audience – it’s a band and an audience having a party together, from the first song people are up off their seats having a good time,” according to Daniels.
And Daniels still performs his body-popping dance in the show today. “It’s the part when all the camera phones come out,” according to member of the crew.
For the very very first time the band will perform the entire Friends album live in concert – all 10 tracks from the album in full.
“Throughout the years we’ve played the four hit singles, but never the whole 10 tracks,” said lead singer Hewett.
“For a lot of people, Friends was their ‘go to’ album of the early ’80s.”
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