Barely ten minutes into their live set at Brighton’s Concorde2, Helen Scott of the Three Degrees reminds a seemingly ecstatic crowd of their placing in The Guinness Book of Records as the longest running all female trio in music history.
If tonight’s performance is anything to go by, they show little sign of hanging up the sparkling slingbacks anytime soon.
Sashaying onto the stage backed by an exceptional five piece band, they launch into the Peaches & Herb disco classic Shake Your Groove Thing and the Concorde crowd’s response is deafening. They barely draw breath before tearing through Degrees classics Year of Decision & Giving Up Giving In, switching the centre stage and lead vocal spot regularly through the night. “We don’t mind you taking photos, really we don’t” they announce and at the only rest break in the next ninety minutes, happily pose as the crowd surge forward with smart phones aloft.
With a fifty-year back catalogue to choose from, inevitably there are favourites missing from the set list, but they make up for it with each twirl, step and head flick punched into the show with the same panache and enthusiasm they have always delivered. Even during the spoken segments as they dole out choreographic instructions to a somewhat sweaty crowd (a typical Brighton mix of party ladies and gay men), the music never stops and even Freddie Pool’s water sips and Valerie Holiday’s sweat towel dabs appear rehearsed and only truly drip with class.