Gig preview: The Temptations at First Direct Arena, Leeds

The Temptations
The Temptations
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IT is becoming an annual event, it seems – the UK tour by legendary Motown groups The Temptations and The Four Tops is now a regular in the music calendar.

And they’re coming again in March and April and bringing some friends with them as well.

For, along with the two groups, we have The Platters and Freda Payne on the bill.

“Yes, we come every 18 months or so,” says the sole-remaining original Temptation Otis Williams at his LA home.

“We always feel appreciated and we have such wonderful fans in the UK.”

The Temptations, with hits like My Girl, Papa Was a Rolling Stone and Get Ready in their massive repertoire of hits, have been revered in Britain from the time when Motown first crept into our consciousness.

“There are no more devoted fans than the British,” states Otis, 72.

“They love and study the music right down to the minutiae; and when you have a fan base like that, it’s always wonderful to perform for them.”

It promises to be a night of excellent music and memories, because The Four Tops, who also have an original member in Duke Fakir, will be on the bill too.

With hits like Reach Out I’ll Be There, Loco in Acapulco, and Standing in the Shadows of Love; The Tops can match The Temptations hit for hit (and they’ve been around about ten years longer too).

The 50s get a look in also with The Platters, whose hit Only You is celebrating it’s 60th anniversary, and they also hit the top reaches of the charts with The Great Pretender and the very top with Smoke Gets in Your Eyes. Completing the line-up is Freda Payne, whose handful of hits included the classic Band of Gold.

With such a stellar line-up of talent, you would think that The Temptations would have their usual allotment of time cut, but this is not the case, as Otis explains.

“No, our set shouldn’t change unless there’s a curfew, so we’ll be on stage for about an hour or so.

“And we’ll be doing the hits we’re known for and we might interject some new material.”

With all those hits to choose from, Otis does have a soft spot for one in particular: “Well, I enjoy performing all out hits, but My Girl is something special.”

The Temptations, Four Tops, Platters and Freda Payne will be at the First Direct Arena, Leeds, on Tuesday, April 1. All tickets are £42.50 (subject to a booking fee) and are available from the box office and all the usual agencies.

Paul Weller at the First Direct Arena, Leeds. Picture: Anthony Longstaff

Gig review: Paul Weller at First Direct Arena, Leeds