Success for Black British musicians in the UK was pretty rare until the last quarter of the 20th century, with the likes of Winifred Atwell and Shirley Bassey breaking through in the ’50s and ’60s for others to eventually follow. Atwell was the first black musician – male or female – to have a UK No.1 with Let’s Have Another Party, but it took until the long, hot summer of 1976 for the first all-black group to grab the top spot. That group was The Real Thing, four pioneers from Liverpool whose emergence played a key role in changing the musical landscape on these shores.
Simon Sheridan’s documentary, Everything – The Real Thing Story, lets the surviving members of the group tell their own story, recalling their rise from the tough streets of Toxteth in Liverpool, to winning over hundreds of thousands of fans across the UK. But it’s one that has to be told against the background of overt racism during the ‘70s and ‘80s at time when racial tensions were boiling over due to constant incitement by right wing neo-Nazi groups.
“it’s an invaluable document of a different era of racial intolerance.” -The Times
“a masterful bit of storytelling — about a brilliant band, who, after decades of being all but written out of history, deserve nothing less” -The Arts Desk
“The story of the chart-topping 70s Merseyside band delivers a charmingly recounted piece of pop history.” -The Guardian
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