Monday, 25 June 2007

In Concert: M People @ Dalby Forest



Name: M People
Occupation: Manchester soul-dance band

Ages today: Pickering, 53; Heard, 46; Small, 42; Shovell, 38

First chart entry: How Can I Love You More, number 29, October 1991

Top ten hits: 1993, How Can I Love You More (remix), One night In Heaven, Moving On Up, 1993; Don't Look Any Further; 1994, Renaissance, Sight For Sore Eyes, ; 1995, Open Your Heart, Search For The Hero; 1997, Just For You; 1998, Angel Street

Last Top Twenty hit: Testify, number 12, November 1998

Albums: Northern Soul, 1992; Elegant Slumming, 1993; Bizarre Fruit, 1994; Bizarre Fruit II, 1995; Fresco, 1997; The Best Of M People, 1998; Testify, 1999; M People featuring Heather Small, The Ultimate Collection, 2005

Awards: 1994, BRIT award for best British dance act and Mercury Music Prize for Elegant Slumming, beating Blur and Pulp in Britpop's pomp

Heather Small solo albums: Proud, 2000; Close To A Miracle, 2006

You probably didn't know: Heather collaborated this year with Icelandic tenor Gardar Thor Cortes on Luna, a number two hit in Iceland

Heather on her big voice: "If you have a big voice and you're up-front, people think you must be the life and soul, but I wouldn't say I was that. I'm quite wary"

Heather on performing: "When you're a bit insecure, going on stage is a slightly mad thing to do. You're saying 'I have something to offer'; you're saying 'Please like me' in a horrible, needy way! But performing is my one adrenaline. I don't smoke, I don't take drugs; I don't drink"

Heather on playing Dalby: "We've played in many different locations but never in forests, so we're really looking forward to it"

M People

Exclusive By Gary Sullivan

THE magnificent backdrop of Dalby Forest in the North York Moors National Park was the setting for Manchester soul dance band M People.

Heather Small, the voice of M People, walked coolly on to the stage in a stunning bright pink dress that lit up a grey and damp Dalby Forest in front of a excited crowd, with a beautiful smile.

She got the performance under way with Mercy On Me - then it was a succession of classic M People hits - So Excited, Angel Street, Moving On Up, One Night in Heaven, Don't Look Any Further, How Can I Love You More, Colour My Life, Just for You and an unreal version of Heather's solo hit Proud.

Amazing to think the group started their illustrious career back in 1991 when they broke into the UK charts with dance classic How Can I love You More, although easy to see how they quickly went on to pick up best dance act at the 1994 Brit Awards.

This was M People's first concert in a forest and, from the evidence of this performance, I am sure they will be back very shortly for their second.

For those of you that thought about going but didn't - boy did you miss out.

Sometimes you just forget how good a band are.

A top-quality performance from a top-quality band. Long live M People, who were well supported by Cicada.

8:18am Monday 25th June 2007


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