Soul fun with Martha in Northampton

Martha Reeves
Martha Reeves

Motown legends Martha Reeves and The Vandellas are heading to Northampton next month, and the star of the show says they cannot wait to take to the stage at The Deco Theatre.

Martha Reeves is regarded as motown’s ultimate soul diva, and with The Vandellas, they have hit songs still as popular today as they were back in the 1960s and 70s, including Dancing in the Street, Third Finger Left Hand, Heatwave and Jimmy Mack.

They will be singing those, their other big hit records, and many more, at the gig on Thursday, November 16.

“I am very excited about coming to Northampton, a town I have been to several times in the past, and where I still have some great friends that I love to catch up with,” she told us.

“I celebrate 55 years as a professional singer this year, and I love it now as much as I did when I first started out. I am blessed by God with talent I prayed for, so why waste it?”

Martha says that her show does take fans on a journey down Memory Lane – “vintage music ages like fine wine: the older, the better” – but she has never stopped making music, and after recording with four major record labels,now self-produces and records her own music.

“I continue performing, writing, producing and enjoying every moment of my life in music, and I hope I reflect that when I entertain the people of Northampton,” she said.

What Martha particularly enjoys is the variety of her audience, with as many young people coming to see her shows as those who remember her first bursting on the scene five decades ago.

“We now have three generations of music lovers coming to our shows, which is wonderful, and when the parents, and grandparents, get up and start singing and dancing with us, they are amazed,” she says.

“Most of the younger people I talk to tell me they’ve heard our music played repeatedly at parties they go to, and other music events. The Motown sound continues to be the sound of young America and the world.

“How proud am I that people of all ages continue to enjoy my music? I’m overwhelmed,” she said. “Being one of the pioneers of the Motown sound means so much to me. We aimed our lyrics of love, joy and happiness at the hearts and souls of people who could identify with the thoughts and stories we sang about.”

And what music does a Motown legend herself listen to these days?

“I love all music,” she tells us. “I attend as many concerts as I can to savour the artistry of talented fellow music makers, who study, practice and work hard to perfect their craft.”

Martha’s concert at The Deco is part of a UK tour in November that takes her from Salisbury to Wrexham, from Preston to Gloucester, and finishing in London.

At 76 she is as excited about touring as ever. But you cannot help but ask if she has ever contemplated calling it a day? You get a short, sharp shrift that suggests it is not on her agenda.

“Singers are birds, and I am a songbird!” she proclaims. “We lift our voices as long as we are able, and besides, music keeps me young. Every time we sing our hit songs it’s always a new experience, a different space and time.”

Martha Reeves and The Vandellas play The Deco on Thursday, November 16.

Support on the night comes from the talented Hannah White, with a DJ set from Mattyboy (Inspiration FM / Soulvit / Motownphilly) and Paddy Grady (Shades /Inspiration / Motownphilly).

Tickets cost from £25. For more details or to book visit www.thedeco.co.uk, or call 01604 491005.