I went to see Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings in The Button Factory the other night. It, unfortunately, clashed with Holy Fuck in Whelans who I would have loved to have seen as well (and on all accounts it was a great gig). I’ve decided I quite like The Button Factory. It’s a big improvement on the Music Centre. It feels less like a warehouse and the sound seems to have vastly improved. It was pretty jammed for Sharon Jones last Thursday, but deservedly so. Their show is a full-on proper soul revue and both Sharon and the band know how to put on a show. The Dap Kings kicked off the show with a few songs on their own and then did a big starry introduction for the main attraction. And Sharon is a star. It’s interesting that her career never took off in the 70’s – in some ways, it feels like she needed to go through the experience of not being successful to create what she has created today. She shakes and shimmies and belts them out, not unlike a female James Brown. There are excellent stories, often sung and she grabs various members of the audience on to the stage to sing and dance, often to hilarious and amusingly embarrassing effect. The Dap Kings are magnificent faultless players. The only thing that lets the show down is the slight feeling towards the end of the show that the songs aren’t often as good as the people that they’re inspired by. But there’s enough vigour and energy expended to make this a moot point.
I’ve attached a link of them on US telly doing 100 Days, 100 Nights which is preceeded by an interview. But even better is the footage of them giving a guided tour of their old-school analogue studio.