The soulful husband-and-wife team were making their debut joint appearance in the U.K. and in fact, hard to believe, Kenny’s first-ever performance here! Dividing the time pretty evenly, the couple delivered individually strong sets with three duets that were well-received – notably their take on the Billy Preston/Syreeta chestnut “With You I’m Born Again” undeniably the emotional highpoint of the evening and the evening’s closer, a version of LTD’s “Love Ballad.”
Chanté benefited from having played before UK audiences at the outset of her career in the ‘90s and tunes like “Love’s Taken Over” and “I Wanna Love (Like That Again)” from her stellar debut album “Precious” were well-received as was a version of Minnie Riperton’s “Give Me Time” from Chanté’s latest CD. Later on, her big hit “Chanté’s Got A Man” and “It’s Alright” (also from “Precious”) were standouts and if there was a misstep it was the inclusion of Nancy Wilson’s “Guess Who I Saw Today” which has no resonance among British soul fans who are unfamiliar with Wilson’s original.
Kenny’s portion of the show was slightly marred by his own unfamiliarity with what the UK audience wanted to hear from his own solo catalogue: fortunately, he was able to rise to the occasion by offering the club classic “Weekend” which he was surprised to learn has been popular with Brit soul peeps since its release in 2004. Highlights from his set included the upbeat “Never Too Busy,” the ultra soulful “I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know” (Kenny’s tribute to musical hero Donny Hathaway) and his slow jam first hit, “For You” but the clincher was his take on Michael Henderson’s “You Are My Starship” from his latest CD, “Timeless” which elicited immediate response from the musically savvy audience. No doubt a return visit will be welcome from the pair who certainly provided a stellar night of soulful sounds two nights in a row.
About the Writer
David Nathan is the founder and CEO of SoulMusic.com and began his writing career in 1965; beginning in 1967, he was a regular contributor to Blues & Soul magazine in London before relocating to the U.S. in 1975 where he served as U.S. editor for the publication for several decades and began being known as 'The British Ambassador Of Soul.' From 1988 to 2004, he wrote prolifically for Billboard, has penned bios, produced and written liner notes for box sets and reissue CDs for over a thousand projects. He returned to London in 2009 where he has helped create SoulMusic.com Records as a leading reissue label.