Old, and even a few young, Mancunians broke free from the perils of grownup life as Motown legends The Temptations recaptured that soulful feeling most prominent five decades ago.
The Manchester Arena greeted current Temps Ron Tyson, Terry Weeks, Joe Herndon, Bruce Williamson and only original surviving member Otis Williams as the five-piece took centre stage to a full arena of feel-good fans.
It was a crowd that would have been more audacious and carefree when the Detroit-hailing band hit worldwide dominance 50 years ago, as tonight the masses were lined up: husband, wife, husband, wife. But still the ‘good times’ were there to be had and these expert entertainers took hold of the respectability of working adults, parents and, daringly, grandparents by encouraging them to resole their dancing shoes.
Selling tens of millions of albums to audiences worldwide and winning three Grammy awards, while hitting the number one spot on the R&B Billboard chart 14 times and releasing 43 studio albums, is an extraordinary career catalogue but it seems there’s no end in sight.
Standout songs from what can only be described as an exemplar performance to trying bands included Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone, Beauty is Only Skin Deep and I Can’t Get Next to You.
The quintet donned matching black suede suits with a crisp white stripe and had graceful coordination throughout, although somewhat less intricate than in previous years. Otis Williams mirrored a member of Diversity, without the modern element, as the 70-year-old’s moves flaunted energy and passion.
The vocals of Bruce Williamson as lead singer were complimented soulfully by the others as layers of emotion were combined with a jaunty and confident approach in between songs.
Reaching out to the crowd, Williamson calls for interaction and a chance to grasp those moments of love, joy and affection. The listeners’ response is credit to the five-piece as screams of appreciation ring-through the Manchester Arena.
The night ends on a standing ovation as My Girl is chanted by all. The group’s biggest selling single, and arguably most commercially successful, is saved for last and what a way to go. A full stadium singing in sync with one another is the fitting end to a night which has seen a man continue his career, stretching into six decades, with the original devotion in which he started. Simply wonderful.