In support of Sir John Holt tonight we have a series of short appearances from a variety of singers. Brixton born Andrae Melody Palmer is the former singer in UK Gospel/Soul group Nu-Soul. He’s a soulful singer-songwriter who gives a confident vocal performance. He’s followed by Lovella Ellis, born in South London to the late, great Ska and Rocksteady Alton Ellis, she’s also a singer-songwriter with a good voice who has inherited her father’s love of Rocksteady judging by her songs tonight. We then get to see those starts from the “Giants of Lovers Rock”, Janet Kay, Carroll Thompson and Peter Hunnigale. All veterans of the UK scene and all still in fine voice as the gig an assured performance of their classic songs. A good way to set the scene for the main event.
Sir John Holt is 66 and cut his first single at the age of 16 in 1963. He was lead singer of the vocal trio The Paragons in the Ska era but has been more widely known for his slower Roots Reggae hits.
Tonight he’s backed by the Reggae Philharmonic Orchestra and sings av huge selection of his well known songs, drawing from his classic album “1000 Volts of Holt”. It’s great to hear songs like “Help me make it through the night” and “The tide is high”, the packed IndigO2 audience greeting each new song with enthusiasm before singing along.
He’s done so many great sings that he frequently stops and asks the crowd to shout out a tune. He then proceeds to sing the first verse of the requested song before carrying on with his set. It’s a measure of how many songs he’s recorded that no one asked for “Police in Helicopter” and he still played a hit-filled set. A great performer and artist who still looks fit and dapper and can put on a great show. A perfect gig.