Shepherd’s Bush Empire is one of my favourite venues and was the perfect setting to see the fantastic Little Stevens and his band The Disciples of Soul. His eighteen piece ultimate soul band were on it in every sense and everybody was lapping it up! In his array of colourful bandanas, sizzling hot backing singers and super cool musicians, the whole stage was a psychedelic kaleidoscope bursting out wonderful funky, and hard core songs with feverish energy.
The added treat was their introduction by Dave Clark from The Dave Clark Five. This Being the 93rd gig of their European Tour this bunch have some serious stamina. The electricity and fun were very clear amongst all of them and you couldn’t help but wonder what it was like on their tour bus or perhaps I could sneak on after the gig hmmm wishful thinking!
Opening their set with a tantalising version of Arthur Conley’s Sweet Soul Music’ Little Stevens made an explosive entrance and the crowd welcomed him with open arms. Synths, brass section, meaty drums, dirty bass and jaw dropping guitars had the whole of the empire wrapped in a tight firework explosion of pure genius. We were spoilt with so many great numbers including ‘Salvation’ and ‘Bitter Fruit’.
Aside from his fame with Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band playing both guitar and mandolin Steven Van Zandt is a brilliant actor and featured in the Sopranos. It really comes as no surprise he is up there in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and judging by this final two hour and fifty minute show this man will go on and on. I really do hope he comes back to London and graces the Empire stage. This is a must show and we want you back please.
Words Celine Hispiche
Photo’s Jeff Moh