Thursday, May 25, 2023

Sister Sledge Bring the Family to London

Go to any wedding and you’ll find an assorted collection of middle-aged aunts and uncles lurking in the shadows while the DJ plays music that they don’t recognise and can’t dance to. 

Yet the moment the distinctive opening beat and super cool Nile Rogers guitar riff explodes into the evening air, everyone from every generation drops their vol-au-vents and charges to the dance floor. Grandparents grab babies, bridesmaids grab pageboys, cousins grab cousins and the mass of bodies bounces and sways in celebration as one of the most memorable, exciting and meaningful songs to have ever come out of the disco period unites them all within one single phrase - ‘We Are Family’.

Sister Sledge can trace their origins back to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the late 1960s and early 1970s when sisters Debbie, Joni, Kim and Kathy grew from their local performances to national tours in the US and onto worldwide chart success in the late 1970s. Collaborations with producers Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards of Chic fame and Narada Michael Walden added a creative sparkle while the core of the group’s success remained the unique intimacy of the family bonds, something which any manufactured group would struggle to replicate.

Despite the longevity of Sister Sledge’s success, it wasn’t until 1985 that they hit the top position in the UK singles charts with ‘Frankie’, again produced by Nile Rogers. It’s the strength of their music and the strong message behind it that accounts for their worldwide record sales of over 15 million, and they continue to entertain audiences all over the world right up to the present day. Alongside ‘We Are Family’, the memorable, ubiquitous musical output of the Sledge family includes ‘Lost in Music’, ‘He’s the Greatest Dancer’, and ‘My Guy’, a reworking of a song originally written by Smokey Robinson. Various remixes of the group’s biggest hits have given younger audiences an entry into the heady world of disco and have helped to guarantee the sisters’ place in the musical history books.

Sadly, Joni Sledge passed away in 2017 and Kathy chose to pursue a solo career, leaving Debbie and Kim to expand the touring family with Debbie Sledge, Camille Sledge, Tanya Ti-et, Thaddeus Sledge and David Sledge, very much continuing the original theme and building on the strong foundation of family love that drives their performances.

This summer, Sister Sledge are returning to the UK for a series of headline and festival shows, starting off with a welcome return to London’s iconic Royal Albert Hall. Supported by British group The Real Thing and DJ/producers Dimitri from Paris and Twiggy Garcia, the show on 8th June is sure to be both a sell-out and a once-in-a-lifetime celebration for the many fans who have grown up with Sister Sledge and the new generations of fans who the group have attracted with their joyful blend of catchy, optimistic, dancefloor-filling feel-good music and their spirit of family love, diversity and acceptance for all.

8th June - Royal Albert Hall, London

10th June - Eden Festival, Lockerbie

23rd June - Bedford Park, Bedford

24th June - The Piece Hall, Halifax

11th August - Fringe by the Sea, North Berwick

Peter Freeth



Image: Sister Sledge

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comment Here;