Try as you might, you can’t escape the fallout from the EU Referendum. It’s infected your Facebook homepage and the conversations at the pub. Even the fur balls in the inoffensive kitten videos you’ve been watching online as a desperate attempt to numb your post-Brexit stupor seem to be mouthing: “…freedom of MEOWvement…” Perhaps what is needed at this time is to get Lost In Music with some All-American Girls to stop you Thinking of Y(EU). (Sorry…) Glasgow’s near month-long West End Festival concludes tonight with this weekend’s Fiesta in Kelvingrove Bandstand, and counts among its headliners Billy Ocean, De La Soul, and tonight’s Philadelphia family affair, Sister Sledge.
Since the departure of sister Kathy in 1989 to form her own solo career, Kim, Joni and Debbie have never stopped performing and have kept Sister Sledge a continuous, hip-shaking movement that has spanned over four decades. Such a record of experience ensures that from the moment that the sisters shimmy on stage, they radiate a wholesome and generous vibe that demands full audience participation – including enthusiastic dancers pulled up on stage, panto-esque “Left Side vs. Right Side” shout-offs, and an expertly handled drunken stage invader. From their adorable sexy aunty synchronised dance routines to their veteran handling of soulful harmonies, their performance is deeply endearing. A cover of Rapper’s Delight is warmly welcomed by the gyrating crowd, along with their famous hits such as He’s The Greatest Dancer and, the nightmare of awkward nephews at weddings worldwide, We Are Family.
Accompanied by their full live band, the Sisters’ only sin could perhaps be stretching out their well-loved classics a tad too extensively and not providing the crowd with enough varied material. Aside from this, they paid their Glaswegian audience the usual reverence: “Glasgow has the greatest dancers!” (…questionable, even from a sympathetic point of view) and the material played, though limited in in number, proved energetic and timelessly catchy. For one rainy evening in Kelvingrove Bandstand, the world seemed that little bit more loving, forgiving, and downright funky. Let’s hope that sweet, sweet vibe can drown out – or at least slightly dampen – the worries of the weeks and months to come.