20 Feet From Stardom

Film4 Summer Screen at Somerset House

Tue 14 Aug 2018
Doors 18.30
£19.75 (includes £2.75 booking fee)

DJ from 18.45 Film starts approximately 21.00.

For telephone bookings call 0333 320 2836.

The Edmond J. Safra
Fountain Court

An evening of soul-stirring, spirit-lifting and roof raising songs and stories, courtesy of the Oscar winning documentary that shines a spotlight on some of music’s most under-appreciated artists: the backing singers.

Certificate 12
Duration 91 mins
Film starts approximately 21.00

From the 1960s to the present day, the film follows the careers of remarkable performers whose voices are entwined in legendary musical moments, yet many of us still don’t know their faces or names. Darlene Love, Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer and Judith Hill are just some of the singers sharing their experiences in the music industry, women whose powerful voices and electric on-stage presence brought extra life, power and harmony to pop, rock and soul songs and performances.

However much they accomplished singing back-up there remains a frustration for some that they were held back from taking centre stage in their own right, making this film both a celebration of their talent and a poignant recognition of dreams unfulfilled. Stars such as Bruce Springsteen, Mick Jagger, Sheryl Crow, Bette Midler and Sting speak candidly in appreciation of their backing singers, while archive footage shows just how central these artists have been to the careers of the likes of Ray Charles, Ike and Tina Turner, James Brown and Phil Spector. Listening to Merry Clayton talk about her collaborations with The Rolling Stones and then witnessing the performance footage will send shivers up your spine.

The stories and the history provide fascinating context, but it’s when we see and hear the phenomenal women perform that the film truly soars, turning this documentary into an overwhelming and uplifting testament to the power of music and the human voice.

The sisterhood who have made this an art form mostly remain unsung heroes of the hit parade. Their collective bow is long overdue.

Time Out
20 Feet From Stardom
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