REVIEW: Good Times for thousands as Chic & Nile Rodgers bring career-spanning tour to Newmarket Racecourse

PUBLISHED: 11:47 13 August 2018 | UPDATED: 11:47 13 August 2018

Chic & Nile Rodgers bring career-spanning tour to Newmarket Racecourse. PHOTO: Angela Smith.

Chic & Nile Rodgers bring career-spanning tour to Newmarket Racecourse. PHOTO: Angela Smith.

Archant

Performing in front of a stunning golden sunset, the legendary Chic & Nile Rodgers brought decades of pop hits to a packed crowd at Newmarket Racecourse on Friday.

Chic & Nile Rodgers bring career-spanning tour to Newmarket Racecourse. PHOTO: Angela Smith. Chic & Nile Rodgers bring career-spanning tour to Newmarket Racecourse. PHOTO: Angela Smith.

Before the show even starts, the iconic producer and songwriter is taking selfies with the crowd. Looking like he’s loving every minute, “are y’all ready to dance, party and have a good time?” he shouts to elated cheers.

As Nile makes use of the stage - funky bass in hand - the two vocalists (Kimberly Davis, in a sparkling silver dress, is especially phenomenal with her unbelievable vocal range) - get the good vibes going with an energetic hand-clapping one-two of ‘Everybody Dance’ and ‘Dance Dance Dance’.

Performing for a well-dressed but slightly tipsy audience who have just enjoyed a day at the races, the crowd is pretty loose and willing to move their hips. It makes for a real festival-like party.

Chic & Nile Rodgers bring career-spanning tour to Newmarket Racecourse. PHOTO: Angela Smith. Chic & Nile Rodgers bring career-spanning tour to Newmarket Racecourse. PHOTO: Angela Smith.

For the next hour or so it’s a non-stop ride of some of the biggest feel-good pop songs of the last four decades; taking in Madonna’s ‘Like A Virgin’ - for which a suited twenty-something guy climbs his mate’s shoulders to show off his moves - into the funk-laden riffs of Sister Sedge’s ‘Lost In Music’.

Watching three generations dance together to ‘We Are Family’ demonstrates the power music can have - as a granddad, mother and daughter let go of all their cares.

Getting the crowd to go old school and light up the sky after a brief story about his cancer diagnosis and being told to go home and contemplate the rest of his life - “I decided that I was going to write more songs, do more collaborations and play more live shows than I’d ever done in my entire life” was Nile’s defiant response - leads into a poignant rendition of ‘Get Lucky’.

Chic & Nile Rodgers bring career-spanning tour to Newmarket Racecourse. PHOTO: Angela Smith. Chic & Nile Rodgers bring career-spanning tour to Newmarket Racecourse. PHOTO: Angela Smith.

The chart hit takes on an entirely new meaning as Nile gushes that he feels like the luckiest man alive and proclaims “I am cancer-free!”

“We’ve been on tour for 80 years and Nile Rogers is 137 years old but the music keeps him looking real cool” jokes Chic’s drummer - and no-one could argue with him.

And with their first album in 26 years scheduled for release next month, they’re showing no signs of slowing down.

Chic & Nile Rodgers bring career-spanning tour to Newmarket Racecourse. PHOTO: Angela Smith. Chic & Nile Rodgers bring career-spanning tour to Newmarket Racecourse. PHOTO: Angela Smith.

By the end the clubby hedonism of New York’s iconic Studio 54 is recreated with at least 30 people onstage with Chic and Nile for ‘Good Times’…

A positive ray of light in a too-often dark real world - bringing together all ages, races, genders and sexualities - there are few musicians or groups as unifying and joy-inducing as Chic & the living legend that is Nile Rodgers.

Newmarket Nights continues this Friday with George Ezra. For tickets click here.

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