#Review: Nile Rodgers & Chic – Grooving Through the Night at Haydock Park Racecourse


Nile Rodgers & Chic, the multiple Grammy-winning guitar maestros, took the stage at Haydock Park Racecourse and unleashed a torrent of funk that had both music aficionados and those with little interest in the musical cream on the cake grooving all night long. Rodgers, a legendary figure with a six-decade-long career, dazzled the audience with his unstoppable flood of chart-toppers that left everyone in the crowd saying wait, he wrote that one too?!

The racegoers, bedecked in their race day finery, had already indulged in wagers and libations and were primed for a night of revelry, but I’m not quite sure they knew what they were in for. Rodgers & Chic delivered an outstanding performance, igniting a disco frenzy with hits like “Le Freak” and “I Want Your Love.”

At the ripe age of seventy, Rodgers not only showcased his own classics but also a treasure trove of collaborations with renowned artists. Kimberly Davis’s vocals were a standout, leaving the crowd with little doubt as to why she is Rodgers right-hand woman, while the band’s flawless performance demonstrated their collective talent. Audrey Martells added her vocal prowess, Jerry Barnes on bass nailed those definitive funk-bass statements, and Ralph Rolle on drums was nothing short of astonishing – pure funkosity. Rodgers also shared stories about his lifetime achievements, including his six Grammy Awards, making for a memorable evening of music and reminiscences.

The performance spanned genres, from Madonna’s “Like A Virgin” to Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky,” and even a nod to his friend Bernard Edwards with Sister Sledge’s “Thinking Of You.” The infectious guitar riffs from Rodgers were enthralling, and drummer Rolle engaged the audience with a drum solo and lead vocals on Bowie’s “Let’s Dance”, inciting a mass danceathon. Ending on a high note, Chic’s “Good Times” seamlessly transitioned into “Rapper’s Delight,” with Rodgers displaying his rapping skills. A tale about cancer survival and more Rodgers-penned chart toppers from the likes of Beyonce and Pharell, and the masses at Haydock were positively under that disco-ball and very much into the groove.

As the night drew to a close, the crowd bowed for the legend that is Nile Rodgers – a true gift to the music world, and a man whose current Chic outfit I would rush to see again in a heartbeat.

Photo Credit: Paul Dixon / The Jockey Club

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