REVIEW: Soul legend Geno Washington entertains crowds

Geno Washington
Geno Washington

Once again the recent Gliderdrome dance night was successful, with a return visit from soul legend Geno Washington, superbly supported by Peterborough’s Motor City Vipers.

It would have been nice to have seen a few more Bostonians present, especially as there were visitors from as far away as Weymouth and Oxford in addition to those from Nottingham and Grantham; and more than 100 people travelled from Peterborough alone, the Motor City Vipers laying on a double-decker bus for their fans, many of who have never visited the Gliderdrome before.

Until seeing the dance posters I have to admit I had never heard of the MCV, and what a revelation they were! A superb eight-piece soul band including two very competent vocalists in Lisa and Andy, and they got their set off to a great start with Be Happy, in effect telling dancers to have a good night!

They soon had the dance floor full and gave an excellent set including Baby Love, Needle in a Haystack, Tainted Love and Get Ready. They ended with their version of Oh Geno!, as an introduction for the legend himself.

Geno has appeared several times at the Boston venue, dating back to the ‘glory’ days of the Sixties and has always had a soft spot for the place, as he was quick to tell me. “Everybody wanted to appear here... and I’m so pleased the old place has been reopened.”

On stage he gave all his old hits and although obviously a lot older now, his voice still has the rasping quality of old. The last half-hour was a continuous hit after hit: Ride Your Pony, Hold On I’m Coming, Freedom, Mustang Sally, Midnight Hour, Sweet Soul Music and Knock on Wood among them.

Steve Greenhough, working so hard with the Malkinson family to bring back dances to the venue, acted as DJ and compère in his usual professional manner.

It’s not so long ago that people were asking for more dances; some even suggested every Saturday night, like the ‘old days’. Despite the attendance by people from places at some distance away, it seems Boston people themselves don’t wish to attend in the numbers suggested when they complained of the Glider not being open.

A pity really: they missed a good night. With more good nights forecast for the future, they will have a chance to prove me wrong.