When soul legends The Real Thing call in at The Apex on September 15, they will be celebrating almost 50 years in the music business.
The original vocalists, Chris Amoo and Dave Smith return to perform all their million-selling hits and many other soul and funk classics.
Founded in 1970 by Amoo, Smith, Kenny Davis and Ray Lake, The Real Thing’s soul-influenced covers of American hits attracted enough attention for them to secure a recording deal with EMI.
They appeared on TV talent show Opportunity Knocks and their career took off when they collaborated with David Essex and Pye Records.
They toured internationally with Essex and recorded a number of popular songs (though none were big sellers).
Chris Amoo’s brother Eddie, who had sung with the Chants, joined the group and the pair started writing songs that had real hit potential.
In 1976 their debut album Real Thing was followed by a string of hits including:‘You to Me Are Everything’, ‘Can’t Get By Without You’, ‘Can You Feel the Force?’, ‘Whenever You Want My Love’, ‘You’ll Never Know What You’re Missing’ and ‘Children Of The Ghetto’.
‘Children Of The Ghetto’has been covered by artistes as diverse as Phillip Bailey (of Earth, Wind and Fire) on the Chinese Wall album, Courtney Pine on his Journey To The Urge Within album and The Swingle Singers Live At Ronnie Scott’s. The song was also featured in the Spike Lee movie ‘Clockers’.
In 1986 “You To Me Are Everything”, “Can’t Get By Without You” and “Can You Feel The Force” were all remixed and became top 10 hits again, thanks to their huge club following.
In 2005, ‘Love’s Such a Wonderful Thing’ was sampled by French dance outfit Daft Punk and re-titled ‘So Much Love to Give’.
The same year the Freeloaders had a UK Top 10 single with ‘So Much Love to Give’which featured The Real Thing, resulting in the band charting across 3 decades.
Following the sad passing of Eddy Amoo in February this year, Chris Amoo and Dave Smith have decided to continue as a duo, backed by their five-piece, The Real Thing Band.