The Roundhouse, London

There was some very fine music being played at The Roundhouse on Sunday and that was mainly due to Kokomo (recently returned from a brief American tour) who got the audience on their feet right from the first number, a Neil Hubbard composition played entirely, instrumentally and without the group’s front-gang vocalists Frank Collins, Paddie McHugh and Dyan Birch.

Stevie Wonder’s ‘Cause we’ve ended now as lovers’ (the song that first appeared on Syreeta’s second album) is such a beautifully tender song and Kokomo’s version of it with Dyan singing lead in a way that’s so perfectly slight, just the right side of whispering, is stunning.

Hubbard and Jim Mullen’s guitars combine with (Frank) Collins’ and McHugh’s vocals to create the perfect foil for Dyan’s voice which finally breaks loose into a torrent of vocal intensity for the final bars without losing control. Also Kokomo’s version of Aretha’s ‘With Everything I Feel’ starting out kind of soft before building to an arresting wall of sound is compelling with Collins’ own remarkable vocals.

(Edited mainly with respect to Betty Wright who was also scheduled on the bill)