Photo Copyright © Jo Forrest
The word “legend” gets bandied about all too easily these days but, in the case of Motown acts The Four Tops and The Temptations, it’s a label that fits both groups perfectly. It might be a cold Monday night in Leeds but nothing has stopped thousands of fans of all ages descending on the First Direct Arena for a night of truly legendary songs from two of Motown’s biggest names.
With nearly 30 Top 40 UK singles, The Four Tops return to the UK with original member Duke Fakir heading up the line-up and for nearly fifty minutes take this crowd back to a golden era of music. After a short intro, a huge cheer rings around the arena as the group emerge from the wings and open up their set with a bouncing “Down in Acapulco” with plenty of fans up on their feet and dancing along even this early in their set. Now, purists might bemoan that “it isn’t the same as back in the good old days” but, you know what, shut your eyes as the group glide through the likes of “When She Was My Girl” and you could quite easily transport yourself back to the heydays of Motown era. All too soon their set came to an end but not before the group squeeze an extra few minutes on stage to the delight of their Yorkshire fans.
There is the briefest of interludes before The Temptations take to the stage and, after a short introduction where their MC reveals how their movie has now turned into a record breaking musical, the quintet from Detroit take everyone on another trip back to the glory days of the Motown sound. Young and old fans were up out of their seats all around the arena with little encouragement needed from the legends who, despite again only featuring one original amongst their line-up, are simply flawless. The connection between the band mates is clear to see and that connection is matched with the one they have for their fans who, even after all these years, are loving every minute of something that is about as close as to the real deal as it could possible get.