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Candi Staton Live Review: MIF 2011

Lynda Moyo believes there’s only room on stage for one diva and it ain’t you David Gest

Written by . Published on July 11th 2011.

Candi Staton Live Review: MIF 2011
The Confidential MIF rating: 18/20 Originality 5/5; Performances (acting, singing etc) 5/5; Audience delight: 4/5; Production 4/5

YOU know a gig is great when, despite sticking to the person next to you like a congealed boiled sweet and wondering how long you have until the oxygen in the room runs out, you refuse to stop dancing and singing along. Candi Staton at the MIF pavilion last night was one of those great gigs.

If my hair is stuck to the back of my neck, how the hell is that man not a puddle of plastic on the floor?

It was the crescendo to follow her free gospel gig at the New Testament Church of God on Upper Chorlton Road a few days previously - proving you can entertain and enrich a city’s culture in one visit.

It’s well done to MIF for living up to their remit with this one and, aside from the sub-Saharan temperatures in the tent last night, you can’t fault this particular addition to this year’s MIF.

Apparently MIF can’t have the air con machines on during sets in the Pavilion because of the noise they make, hence why everyone in the room including Candi and her entire band had to endure the life sized bain-marie. Luckily you don’t moan as much when you’re melting to music. Really amazing music.

Taking to the stage with Solomon Burke’s ‘Cry To Me’, a track covered later by the Rolling Stones, Candi informed us “This is a soul revival show” before singing some of the less soulful greats including Tammy Wynette's ‘Stand By Your Man’ and later Elvis’ ‘Suspicious Minds’.

The fact is, if it’s a song about love and/or pain, it doesn’t matter who sang it originally and what genre it came from – Candi makes it her own every time. She has an appreciation for brilliant song writing and two of her own tracks were as much true life stories as they were energetic sing-a-longs.

Img_2375Inside the pavillion‘I'd Rather Be An Old Man's Sweetheart (Than a Young Man's Fool)’ and ‘I'm Just A Prisoner (Of Your Good Lovin’)’ had the women in particular under her soulful spell. Meanwhile ‘Suspicious Minds’ got everyone in the spirit as Candi passed the mic around the front row for the verse that begins “We’re caught in a trap”. This ended with one eager bloke singing “Cos Manchester loves you too much Candi”. I bet he’d been thinking of that line all week.

The tracks everyone had been waiting for were saved for last. ‘Young Hearts (Run Free)’ was Candi’s upbeat opportunity to introduce her band and backing singers of whom Xavier Barnett on vocals was a standalone talent in his own right, and a bit of a comedian on the side too, which was a bonus.

Dum dum da dum dum. That all too pleasingly familiar bass line paved the way for what’s become a festival anthem over the last 30 years. Having seen Candi Staton play before, that bass line still gets me every time. I actually think I could watch her perform this track once a week, every week for the rest of my life and never tire of it. Although it’d have to be minus Candi’s special guest in future.

Taking a precious moment towards the end of the song she introduced “someone I’ve known for eleven years who you all know too”.

I looked at my boyfriend in excitement and squealed “Oh my God, Stevie Wonder?”

Special GestSpecial Gest“No that’d be longer than eleven years I’m sure Lynda.” He had a point but you can see where I was going with that sentiment. The Queen of Soul would surely have to bring on someone completely credible and worthy of sharing the stage with her.

Someone who isn’t David Gest.

 “Praise Candi Stay-ton, praise Manchester and praise this house,” he yelled as everyone laughed nervously, all thinking the same thing I’m sure – if my hair is stuck to the back of my neck, how the hell is that man not a puddle of plastic on the floor?

But on and on he continued as Candi exited with David acting as the maddest master of ceremonies I’ve ever seen in my life. And then it all got even more cringe worthy.

“Candi, come back! Candi, come back!” he shouted before dissolving into one of those awkward “was the mic still switched on” moments when you could hear him muttering  “Where the hell is she?”

Sometimes I Feel Like Putting My Face In The Air ConAir con, I know I can count on you

No David, that is not how encores work and with that he left things to play out organically – unlike his own aging process – and Candi came back after rapturous and slightly relieved applause.

She took us to church for the final time with ‘Hallelujah Anyway’ minus her very special Gest, before leaving us once and for all with a long awaited blast of air con. Praise the Lord.

Follow Lynda on Twitter @lyndamoyo

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6 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Lynda Moyo shared this on Facebook on July 11th 2011.
AnonymousJuly 11th 2011.

Fabuluos! she is amazing

Aron JonesJuly 11th 2011.


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