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REVIEW: Nile Rogers & Chic live at Newmarket Nights

PUBLISHED: 11:22 31 August 2018 | UPDATED: 11:52 31 August 2018

Nile Rodgers and Chic at Newmarket Nights. Picture: Angela Smith

Nile Rodgers and Chic at Newmarket Nights. Picture: Angela Smith

Angela Smith

These are the good times, leave your cares behind… Those iconic lyrics epitomise what it means to be at a Chic gig, and at Newmarket Nights they did not disappoint.

Nile Rodgers and Chic at Newmarket Nights. Picture: Andy Tattersall/The Jockey Club LiveNile Rodgers and Chic at Newmarket Nights. Picture: Andy Tattersall/The Jockey Club Live

Frontman and hitmaker supremo Niles Rodgers wowed the sell-out racecourse crowds this month with a set that must be the envy of musicians worldwide.

He joked how when once performing in the US the group were applauded for being the best covers band ever seen – only for Rodgers to drop the ‘bombshell’ that he had written every single track they’d played.

Nile Rodgers and Chic at Newmarket Nights. Picture: Andy Tattersall/The Jockey Club LiveNile Rodgers and Chic at Newmarket Nights. Picture: Andy Tattersall/The Jockey Club Live

Whether it’s Chic classics such as I Want Your Love, Everybody Dance, Le Freak and the aforementioned Good Times, or songs made famous by Bowie (Let’s Dance), Diana Ross (I’m Coming Out) and Daft Punk (Get Lucky) – it’s a concert that cannot fail to delight.

Each song seemed effortless for the group, whose main aim was to simply have a good time.

Nile Rodgers and Chic at Newmarket Nights. Picture: Andy Tattersall/The Jockey Club LiveNile Rodgers and Chic at Newmarket Nights. Picture: Andy Tattersall/The Jockey Club Live

Everybody really was dancing as hit after hit was played as the sun set at Newmarket – seamlessly transformed from a horse racing course to an outdoor music venue as the public gathered in their thousands in front of the stage and in the adjacent stands.

Having spent time on the grass and in the premier enclosure stand where Chic were almost in reaching distance, I’d heartily recommend either, or both.

Nile Rodgers and Chic at Newmarket Nights. Picture: Andy Tattersall/The Jockey Club LiveNile Rodgers and Chic at Newmarket Nights. Picture: Andy Tattersall/The Jockey Club Live

But no matter your vantage point – aided by large screens – the music was the clear winner on the night.

Rodgers spoke of his pride at being inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2016 and last year the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and the evidence of why was plain to see on a night when disco was celebrated.

Nile Rodgers and Chic at Newmarket Nights. Picture: Andy Tattersall/The Jockey Club LiveNile Rodgers and Chic at Newmarket Nights. Picture: Andy Tattersall/The Jockey Club Live

Yet he also spoke emotionally about his two battles with cancer, and how lucky he was to still be doing what he loves. The audience at Newmarket was certainly thankful for that.

Drummer Ralph Rolle spent time behind the mic too, and his Bowie-inspired vocals for Let’s Dance made a real impression – but nobody on stage failed to leave their mark, in truth.

Nile Rodgers and Chic at Newmarket Nights. Picture: Andy Tattersall/The Jockey Club LiveNile Rodgers and Chic at Newmarket Nights. Picture: Andy Tattersall/The Jockey Club Live

The gig concluded with a whole host of people on stage and the smiles on their faces said it all. Good times, indeed.

• Newmarket Nights 2018 welcomed a whole host of big names this year – from Paloma Faith, Craig David and Plan B to Chic, George Ezra and Summer Saturday Live with headliner The Vamps to conclude the summer series last weekend.

Nile Rodgers and Chic at Newmarket Nights. Picture: Andy Tattersall/The Jockey Club LiveNile Rodgers and Chic at Newmarket Nights. Picture: Andy Tattersall/The Jockey Club Live

You can expect more of the same next year – with acts for June, July and August 2019 to be announced. Visit Newmarket.thejockeyclub.co.uk for more.

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