Note: This review is from the 2016 Fringe

The wizard of tap and song, Movin’ Melvin Brown presents Otis Redding and more, with 75 minutes of song, tap, and soulful funk. Bursting onto the stage in a silver lamé suit, tapping like the skillful “hoofer” he is, there’s no doubting this show is going to be a lot of fun.

Accompanied by his three piece band which comprises a very youthful but incredibly talented Caroline on drums; Alan on bass, Dan on keyboard and Francesca on vocals, the lady “who holds them all together”, Melvin weaves the story of Otis with renditions of 18 of his songs, including (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction, These Arms Of Mine, and Dock of the Bay.

A consummate storyteller, with an infectious laugh, he has the ability to get inside the songs and characters of the stars he represents, weaving a journey of Redding’s life from his poor start “but with lots of heart and soul” to travelling the Chitlin Circuit.

The entertainer he is, Movin’ Melvin likes his costume changes, changing from his silver lamé suit to a silver frock coat with tails and finally a silk red coat, leaving us in the capable hands of his band to entertain us whilst he changes. He also throws in some great tap dancing too. It’s all very theatrical and mesmerising.

Movin’ Melvin loves to involve his audience in his performance and has everyone joining in singing Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa (Sad Song) and standing up and shakin’ their booties to Shake. Even when he doesn’t want the audience to join in, they can’t help it, especially when he sings Redding’s particularly well-known songs like Dock of the Bay and Try a Little Tenderness.

He leaves us with a lovely message – ‘It’s nice to be important but it’s important to be nice’ with a final send off of I Love You and one of Otis’ well known songs Everybody Needs Somebody.

A highly infectious entertainer with a soulful voice and great moves, this show is guaranteed to have you groovin’ in and out of your seats.