Concert review by Geoff Brown published in Melody Maker magazine in 1979.

CHIC, Hammersmith Odeon, London, Tuesday October 9.

SISTER SLEDGE, Hammersmith Odeon, London, Sunday September 30.

Three songs into Chic's dazzling show they played a threetune medley from Sister Sledge's album 'We Are Family', which Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers, respectively Chic's bassist and guitarist, wrote, arranged, produced and played on with the rest of their group. And from the first notes of Rodgers' guitar intro to "He's The Greatest Dancer", an enormous chasm, marginally wider than the Atlantic Ocean, opened up between the quality of the respective shows.
All opinion became fact. Quite simply, when on song, and they are usually never far off it, there is no better rhythm section working in any field of music today than Chic. Their sense of taste about what not to play is impeccable (the temptation to overplay is generally the downfall of most bands), the instrumental precision is breathtakingly faultless even on their fastest pieces, and the mechanics and look of their show is smooth and skillful. Their songs, far from being the cliched disco items which bigots who believe that anything (a) danceable, and (b) played and sung by blacks must be, are, in fact, witty and observant about current lifestyles, if tending to place the female in the old traditional role of subservient, pliant weeping willow. (Almost all rock does this, of course).
A stage set of palm trees and screens, lit well, is the perfect platform for an act called Chic, whose wardrobe ensures they look the part. "Chic Cheer" segued into "I Want Your Love" which was followed by their current single "My Forbidden Lover" and the Sledge medley ("Dancer", "Lost In Music" and "We Are Family" in which Edwards took the first of several fine bass solos.)
The audience, which had been up and dancing-or just gazing spellbound-from the second tune, took a rest during "At Last I Am Free", before resuming **** vertical for "Dance, Dance, Dance" and "Le Freak". (On the latter they've overdone the **** of echo on the vocals.) "Everybody Dance" and "My Feet Keep Dancing" finished off the show in tumultuous style. Folks are beginning to appreciate what Chic play rather than the effect it has on their audience and the way it's marketed. Forget disco tags - Chic is great music period.
But, oh Sister Sledge! We had smoke and strobes and "Lost In Music" but it was very quickly obvious that without the Chic rhythm section the sound was wanting. Joni looked great, Kathy sang well. A victim, one Derek by name, was lured from the audience, sat on a stool and made to look fairly churlish by the girls, who sang at him, toyed with his hair and generally rubbed up alongside of him whilst singing "You're A Friend To Me".
Things got worse. They did impersonations. Diana Ross, Dolly Parton, Cher, The Andrews Sisters. Vocally quite believable and a night club audience of prematurely aged Cortina drivers who wear kipper ties and whose wives wear long dresses may have been well pleased with it all - but at the Hammersmith Odeon one could sense, all around, growing disillusion. "He's The Greatest Dancer" courted disaster as the band, and especially the lead guitarist, fought a losing battle with its intricate lines. There is only one Bernard Edwards. There is only one Chic rhythm section. -
**** unable to read the text
Thanks to Russell in the UK for this cutting.