The Derek Nash Band. Some Kinda Wonderful, Wilfred Noyce Centre Godalming ****

Derek Nash, one of the most highly regarded saxophone players in the UK and leading member of Jools Holland’s band, brought his group of top session musicians to give his “Some Kinda Wonderful” show to an enthusiastic audience.

The band featured veteran vocalist Noel McCalla, former singer of Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, with original Manfred’s singer and local celebrity Paul Jones in the audience.

Signed, Sealed, Delivered opened the show, and it was instantly apparent this is no tribute band. This was an evening of Stevie Wonder songs performed by some of the UK’s top musicians in their own style. McCalla’s soulful voice and powerful delivery shone through and the personality and playing of Derek Nash was infectious.

Sunshine of My Life and Sir Duke rocked the joint, Innervisions, Another Star and If It’s Magic showcased McCalla’s supreme voice, still as good as ever. Higher Ground and Living For The City had the audience up and dancing.

The show was driven by the funky rhythm section of top session drummer Nic France and bassist Jonathan Noyce, coincidentally a relation of the namesake of the venue, with guitarist Tim Cansfield completed the line-up.

The band cranked up the tempo and volume and it was party time with most of the audience up and dancing. Pianist Neil Angilly delivered a quite remarkable intro to Don’t You Worry ‘Bout A Thing, the highlight track of the night. Nash soared with a solo on Isn’t She Lovely and the band closed with a rocking version of Superstition and singalong encore of My Cherie Amour.

Words and Live Photo by Chaz Brooks

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