Before we kick off this review, I thought I’d quickly update you as to where I’ve been over the last month or so. If you follow me on Twitter then you may’ve already seen that I’ve been having a lot of trouble with my laptop recently, after I was told to download an update for my Sat Nav (of all things!) and some malware jumped in with it.
As a result I was unable to use the internet without pages instantly becoming unresponsive, as well as dealing with a load of annoying unwanted pop-ups. Luckily I have a friend who’s an IT Technician, who gave me some advice of things I could do to try and identify the problem, but eventually I ended up having to take it to the shop. Thankfully, the guy sorted everything out pretty quickly and showed me that I had some malicious software on there – something I totally didn’t expect as: A. I have anti-virus installed, and B. I don’t usually have any need to download anything, much less that it would attach its self to the back of something legit. Nevertheless, everything has finally been sorted (yay!)
I also went on a short holiday towards the end of September, but now I’m back and finally able to pick up blogging :). Though, as this event was a few weeks ago now, I was undecided on whether or not to post this review. However, I decided I couldn’t not as it was such a good night, and the performer in question often gigs around the area so you may just catch his set sometime.
Friday September 29th 2016
Greg Bannis @ The Tavern, Catral
Former singer of iconic 1970’s band ‘Hot Chocolate’ treats locals to an outdoor set in Spain’s Costa Blanca.
If you were around in the 1970’s – or indeed if your parents were – then you will have, no doubt, heard of popular soul band ‘Hot Chocolate’ at some point. Reaching the height of their fame in the mid 1970’s disco scene, their popularity carried throughout the 1980s thanks to hits such as ‘You Sexy Thing’, ‘It Started With A Kiss’ and number one hit ‘So You Win Again’. Late vocalist Errol Brown’s iconic tone gives the songs their sensual, sultry vibe and continues to make them instantly recognisable to this day.
However, Brown’s departure from the band in 1986 saw the six-piece fully disband shortly after. It wasn’t until 1992 that the band was reformed with a completely new line up, including vocalist Greg Bannis. The all-new Hot Chocolate continued to bring the classic tracks to life, with Bannis on vocal duties from 1992 – 2010.
Since leaving the band, Bannis has continued singing in various different countries, including Spain’s Costa Blanca. This particular September evening, his stage was the outside terrace of local town bar ‘The Tavern’, in small Spanish village, Catral. Nestled in amongst various other bars, restaurants – and overlooked by a multitude of local’s homes – the music could be heard by anyone who wished to listen.
Dressed in the striking combo of silver sequined jacket and white trousers, Bannis opened his set with Bob Marley’s classic feel-good anthem ‘Don’t Worry about a Thing’, kicking off the night with a very jovial, Jamaican feel. This carried throughout the evening as he
continued to inject his pop/reggae flair into a host of well-known tunes including, Sam Cooke’s ‘What a Wonderful World’, Otis Reading’s ‘My Girl’ and Johnny Nash’s ‘I Can See Clearly Now’. He also treated the audience to some of Hot Chocolate’s most loved tracks such as, ‘Emma’ and ‘You Sexy Thing’.
Parading up and down the public thoroughfare, Bannis interacted with his audience (as well as random passers-by) throwing in comic dance moves, and just generally letting his energetic and infectiously upbeat personality shine. This is a man who undoubtedly comes alive when he sings.
By the time his set came to an end – with a rendition of Boy George’s ‘Everything I Own’ – some people had left their seats behind in favour of dancing, while others created a sea of hands as they waved their arms in appreciation. Looking around at the scene one thing’s for sure: they say some people can sing but can’t entertain, Greg Bannis can certainly do both – and that’s no mean feat.
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