In his 10th anniversary show, singer Andre Lejaune is celebrating the genre that smoothed racial tensions and shook up the music industry with its feel-good vibes.
The Magic of Motown - featuring 40 back-to-back classics by the The Supremes, The Temptations, Jackson 5, The Isley Brothers, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross and Lionel Richie - is sliding into Colne in March.
But amid the dazzling dance moves and glittering costume changes, the night’s standout performance promises to be the 1966 hit, Reach Out, by The Four Tops, which topped the charts on both sides of the Atlantic.
“I grew up listening to Stevie Wonder, Lionel Richie, The Four Tops and The Jackson 5,” said Andre. “My family would sit around the house listening to them, singing and dancing. I loved the sound of their voices; the choreography was exciting and the guys had smooth moves. It caught my attention.”
“When I first came up with the idea for the show I wanted to exemplify the Motown genre. We’re offering something no other show is doing: we’re giving you a taste of Motown in its authenticity, something as close as possible to the real thing.”
“The chemistry that [founder of Motown] Berry Gordy offered when he first put the sound together is still effective today. The Funk Brothers started it. They were so awesome: whatever they touched turned to gold. Even today people are still trying to imitate and duplicate the sound but they can’t.”
“Europe appreciates Motown more today than America. America is a country that moves on. But Motown is so powerful, it still has the same effect on people.”
It’s soul-soothing, he agrees - not surprising when it helped to lessen racial segregation in mass music markets, thanks in part to its huge appeal across boundaries.
“The effect it had on the era was amazing,” Andre said. “It soothed the situation and calmed a lot of violence.”
The Magic of Motown started its life as a four-piece group, before the singers were picked up by an agent.
“I told him that if I’m going to be involved [in the show], we need to do it right. We’ve got to take it all the way.”
It will take place at the Muni Theatre, Albert Road, Colne, on Saturday, March 11th at 7-30pm.
To book call 01282 661234 or visit www.themuni.co.uk
For your chance to win a pair of tickets please answer the following question:
In 1966, Reach Out was a number one hit on both sides of the Atlantic for which Motown group?
A) Jackson 5;
B) The Four Tops;
C) The Temptations
Send your answer with your full name and phone number on the back of a postcard to:
Empire Business Park
Off Liverpool Road