With a face as sculpted and ageless as a statue, an infectious smile, a deep earthy laugh and a voice like velvet, Movin’ Melvin Brown simply oozes charisma. For this show, he takes the audience on a journey through the history of soul music, from its roots with African slaves through to legends Otis Redding and James Brown.
The narrative bits which string the songs together are not strictly necessary, but Movin’ Melvin seems to realise this is not what the audience came for and keeps the dialogue short and sweet. The songs are sung with real energy and verve from a man who is clearly born to entertain. The icing on the cake is Movin’ Melvin’s dancing, which feels not so much like a rehearsed performance as a spontaneous eruption of pure joy.
There are a couple of notes that fall short here – the audience participation doesn’t always work and some of Melvin’s fellow performers cannot quite keep up with the standard the man himself sets. So, 3 stars for the show. But Melvin himself is a solid 5.
4-30 Aug (not 10,17,24)
1900 (2005) @ The Bongo Club
Ticket information is available on the Fringe website