Lemar -Manchester Apollo - 4.6.04

I know David Sneddon was the winner of Fame Academy, but the true star shining bright was Lemar. Snedders has since shunned the showbiz lifestyle now solely concentrating on songwriting (Ed: Lets be honest he was pushed from the label). Lemar - charismatic, handsome and possessing a voice simply full of soul is playing his first UK solo tour and the Apollo is filled with girls of all ages with the occasional guy along for the ride.

Lemar has eight top quality musicians on stage with him, including 3 keyboard players, a drummer, percussionist, guitarist and bass player. In true pop style there's a couple of young ladies there dancing away and flirting with the main man throughout. After spending years as a struggling singer on the live circuit Lemar is making sure he gives 100% now his time has come for stardom.  He certainly looks like the time spent in the gym has paid off. Muscley, perfectly toned and immaculately dressed he looks every inch a star and this guy can really sing. His adoring female fans scream louder than i've ever heard, even more so than at recent Busted concerts. Starting off with some party numbers, Lemar is shaking hands, waving, flirting and really working the crowd.

Slowing things down on the romantic ballad "Another Day" perched on a stool as his young fans swoon in appreciation. He then tells the crowd he's influenced by Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder and the Reverend Al Green which leads us naturally to his version of "Lets Stay Together". Another cover is the Darkness classic "I Believe In A Thing Called Love" which showcases his guitarist Angelo as a true talent..

Lemar is certainly a smooth operator, climbing the speakers, taking his top off revealing a perfect six pack, then throwing his shirt into the crowd. A quick costume change later and he cavorts provocatively with his dancers and includes his fans singing along to the hit "50/50".

During "Sweet Love" Lemar partakes in a spot of choreography with his little lovelies perhaps enjoying himself a little too much if you catch my drift. He swiftly changes gear on the less frantic "Lullaby" which he does with finesse. You don't have to be a clever clogs to hazard a guess at Lemars show stopping, crowd pleasing grand finale. It's is of course one of his most memorable tunes, another hit single "Dance With You", an activity his legion of fans would ideally join Lemar in.

Nicholas Paul Godkin

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