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Dan Penn & Spooner Oldham

Live Review

Venue: Union Chapel, Islington

The triumphant London return of the songwriting masters.

‘‘What’s it been, nine years?” asks Dan Penn as he ponders on the last time southern soul’s most celebrated songwriting duo performed in the UK. In the near decade since Penn and Oldham were here both men have visibly aged – Penn is comfortably plump and jowly, Oldham very thin, gaunt even – yet their ability to make beautiful music remains undimmed.

Penn and Oldham were both born in Alabama and would, separately, cut their teeth playing on soul sessions at Muscle Shoals studios in the early 1960s. Penn scored his first hit as a songwriter while still a teenager when country singer Conway Twitty recorded Is A Bluebird Blue

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