Originally formed in Canton, Ohio in 1958 as The Triumphs and then The Mascots, The O’Jays who would adopt their final guise as a tribute to Cleveland radio jock Eddie O’Jay who was part of a powerful management team along with Frankie Crocker, scored their first national hit back in 1963 with ‘Lonely Drifter’ on Imperial. They would have to wait for another 9 years though before reachin’ international stardom when linkin’ with Philadelphia International Records masterminds Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff as a team of songwriters, producers prior to opening their account with the label successively with ‘I Love Music’ and ‘Backstabbers’. Their very first hits in a series including ‘Put Your Hands Together’, ‘Now That We’ve Found Love’, ‘For The Love Of Money’, ‘Give The People What They Want’, ‘Livin’ For The Weekend’, ‘Message In Our Music’, ‘Darlin’ Darlin’ Baby (Sweet Tender Love)’ and ‘Used Ta Be My Girl’…
Their departing from the PIR label didn’t get them away from putting out music, with their last album to date being the 2004 released ‘Imagination’ on Sanctuary Urban, although they would never reach the same popular status again, as shown for instance with the quite underrated although vibrant ‘Don’t Let Me Down’ delivered with remix courtesy of Tony Humphries, from the ‘Emotionally Yours’ album back in 1990…
Like good wine do along with time, the group – a now threesome comprising Eric Nolan Grant and original member Walter L Williams around charismatic leader Eddie Levert, Sr. – managed to keep their original fan base in addition to ever growing new ones along with time, beginning with artists like Snoop Dogg, P Diddy, Jay Z and Beyoncé, who would get them a staple part of their I Pod playlists!
One may wonder how they still have the energy and will to perform on stage after so many years… “The energy level goes down a bit with age, but the fire never dies. We give the audience a performance that lives up to how it used to be back when we started out”, explained Levert to Jasmine Dotiwala on The Huffington Post a couple of days ago, firmly decided to set London Indigo2 on fire. Their two live shows marking the awaited return of those prestigious Soul events hosted by Ultimate Boogie Nights along with event promotion specialists Kilimanjaro, with DJ’s spinning the best in Disco, Funk and Soul Club Classics until 02:00am.
Nuff reasons to not miss this!
Indigo2 The O2, Millennium Way, Greenwich, London SE10 0DX