Nile Rodgers and Chic dazzle at Bristol’s Lloyds Amphitheatre - review and pictures

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
‘It felt more like a party and a celebration than a gig or a show’

It’s hard to write this review without thinking ‘wow, dance, boogie, boogie, best show ever- I want to go back’.

Last night, Bristol Harbourside set a truly idyllic summer scene with the first of three Bristol Beacon shows at Lloyd’s Amphitheatre, kicked off by Nile Rodgers & Chic, with British soul singer Amahla in support.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

It all started with Amahla taking to the stage with the crowd filtering in, balloons drifting overhead and a sneaky Nile Rodgers fiIming in the background.

And it was clear to see why Amahla was chosen as support; her blend of soul, socio/personal political lyrics really made me (and the crowd) stand up and absorb a young artist that clearly has so much to give.

The songs themselves, although new to me, fitted like a favourite jumper - comforting and here to stay. I Know What They’re Thinking highlights her own mental health struggle and River was dedicated to her mum with the lyrics ‘forging your own way and not comparing yourself to others’.

Amahla provided the perfect warm-up performance (Credit: Guilia Spadafora)Amahla provided the perfect warm-up performance (Credit: Guilia Spadafora)
Amahla provided the perfect warm-up performance (Credit: Guilia Spadafora) | Guilia Spadafora

She has forged her own way to supporting Nile Rodgers, noting him as her mentor. Not bad!

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Her effortless, chilled soulful vocals drew in ALL the crowd with one person shouting, ‘Sing it!’ and another ‘I’ve got goosebumps’. There was huge response to sing-along crowd pleasing version of Corinne Bailey Rae’s Put Your Records On. She, herself, was surprised by the response, breaking from her words to say ‘you are actually singing it!!’

Glorious. And I think Bristol fell in love with her.

Before Nile Rodgers came on stage I met Susan in the crowd. She had flown over from Isle of Man to see the show with her daughters. After losing them both then coming back with gin she shouted in my ear ‘enjoy your life!!’

‘Enjoy your life!!’ - the crowd were so up for it some were dancing like Nile Rodgers was already on stage.

The man himself - Nile Rodgers on stage (Credit: Guilia Spadafora)The man himself - Nile Rodgers on stage (Credit: Guilia Spadafora)
The man himself - Nile Rodgers on stage (Credit: Guilia Spadafora) | Guilia Spadafora

Then, as the glitter balls spin and the harbourside glowed, the one and only Nile Rodgers appeared in a full-on funky silver suit (for sale for $80,000, according to his drummer) and a huge smile like this was his first ever show.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

‘Are we ready to party?’ he said. ‘You sound very convincing - lets do this!!’

The party had officially started. This felt more like a party and a celebration than a gig or a show. And you could tell it was good by the number of drinks that were spilt around me.

‘You ready to party?’ - Nile asked the crowd. (Credit: Guilia Spadafora)‘You ready to party?’ - Nile asked the crowd. (Credit: Guilia Spadafora)
‘You ready to party?’ - Nile asked the crowd. (Credit: Guilia Spadafora) | Guilia Spadafora

The band were so tight and all as talented and enthusiastic as their singer - and that is saying something.

I lost count on the number of bass solos, keyboard solos (thank you Jerry Barnes), vocal crazy-high-lows (thank you Kimberly Davis/Audrey Martells) I was astounded by during the show.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

They all mould together to make pop/soul/funk/jazz/everything…maximum funkosity!! This was a new word Nile taught us all during the party. I’m not sure what it means or how it is spelt but it made sense to everyone,

The band fired off endless classics melting into endless classics as if it was a show of encores.

The crowd were treated to a special night at the amphitheatre (Credit: Guilia Spadafora)The crowd were treated to a special night at the amphitheatre (Credit: Guilia Spadafora)
The crowd were treated to a special night at the amphitheatre (Credit: Guilia Spadafora) | Guilia Spadafora

The level of funkosity was so high. Nile casually threw in Like a Virgin and Material Girl, blending them with David Bowie’s Modern Love before pulling out Notorious. I have no idea what the light show or stage show was like as I was too lost in the music.

The music is all about ‘peace, love and understanding,’ said Nile after proclaiming ‘I am now completely cancer free!’ after beating his long-term battle. An inspiration in every way.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

At one point the crowd started clapping to the groove of the band’s free style introduction of members and Nile went off on a solo ad lib jam, strutting around the stage and seemingly having the time of his life. I think a few others were too.

A night to remember (Credit: Guilia Spadafora)A night to remember (Credit: Guilia Spadafora)
A night to remember (Credit: Guilia Spadafora) | Guilia Spadafora

One person told me that seeing Nile Rodgers was on their bucket list.

The band also clearly have so much love for Nile. With We Are Family lasting 10 minutes for an appreciation of each other, and the crowd did too.

As the show got near that time nobody wanted I was the racking my brains thinking what song could they possibly have not played yet?? Good Times! These are the good times, leave your cares behind.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.