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The Razz: Live Reviews: Lemar, Carling Academy, Glasgow, April 4.

Byline: Cath Bennett

THERE'S no doubting Lemar can sing. His smooth voice enraptured the packed crowd at Glasgow's Carling Academy.

But if he wants to be a respected artist he really needs to do away with the cheese and get himself a dance instructor and stylist. Pelvic thrusts, white satin shirts and schmaltzy video clips do not equal credibility.

And when his band broke into Stevie Wonder's Happy Birthday in honour of Lemar's 27th, it went from mild cheddar to full-on goats cheese.

Lemar opened with Better Than This and soon had the mostly middle-aged crowd in the palm of his hand.The excitement grew as he moved on to 50/50 and the title track from his second album Time To G r ow.

He then did a cover of Snoop Dogg's Drop It Like It's Hot.

As a former Fame Academy contestant who made it doing covers, this seemed a step back for a man who has the ability to create great tracks himself.

While bewitching with his voice, Lemar's performance got progressively more sleazy as the show went on.

After gyrating against the side of the stage he did a strip tease - leaving his trousers on, but tearing his shirt off.

Dance (With U) was greeted with delight and had the crowd on their feet right through to dancefloor filler Soulman.

Unfortunately, the dancing among the fans was far better than that on stage, as Lemar stomped his way through the track.

The encore was If There's Any Justice - at which point the screams reached fever pitch.

Lemar has an amazing voice and the talent to make it huge - but for those who aren't major fans, this gig would have been better heard and not seen.

Lemar came across as a parody of a soul singer
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Apr 8, 2005
Previous Article:The Razz: Live Reviews: A BIG BANANA FEAT; Billy Connolly triumphs as he comes home to tour Scotland Billy Connolly Loreburn Hall, Dumfries, April 6.
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