Soul stars share the limelight with pupils
MUSIC legends The Drifters are set to share the stage at The Victoria Hall with 20 Hanley schoolchildren.
But with a career spanning nearly six decades, the soul group are more than used to line-up changes, as over the years they have had more than 65 vocalists.
The children, from St Luke's Primary School, Hanley, will perform two songs and are more than ready for a night in the limelight.
"They were absolutely fantastic," says current Drifters member, Michael Williams, far right.
"Some of the kids had such great voices I started thinking they were after my job."
Michael visited the school in July and was impressed by their knowledge of the band's classic hits.
"They knew all the songs," he says.
"I don't know if that was because of their mums and dads, or nans and grandads, but they had done their homework."
Michael, along with fellow group members, pictured from left, Ryan King, Carlton Powell and Damion Charles, will sing M People's Search For A Hero, and Drifters classic, Saturday Night At The Movies, with the youngsters.
"We're really looking forward to singing with them.
"We chose the M People song because lyrically it's very inspirational, with a message that says they can achieve anything."
The concert is part of the Icons Tour, which started in February, and sees the group perform with schoolchildren all over the UK.
Michael explains: "One of the reasons we do this is because it's our way of giving back.
"It gives these children, who love singing and dancing, an insight of what it's like to perform on stage.
"It becomes a sort of workshop."
On the tour the current line-up take a look back at past members, including Ben E. King, Rudy Lewis, and Clyde McPhatter, an original Drifter when the band formed in 1953.
"We pay tribute to the great voices and names that have been part of The Drifters history," says Michael.
"We would never be where we are today without those people."
Performing a mixture of hits from the days of doo wop and soul, to R&B and disco, audiences will also be treated to new material from the group's latest Greatest Hits album.
"We recorded two bonus tracks, one of which is a cover of U2's I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For.
"But we slowed it down and gave it The Drifters treatment."
Other songs on the night include More Than A Number, Up On The Roof and Under the Boardwalk.
Over their 58 years, The Drifters have sold 114 million albums and are one of the longest serving bands in history.
Michael adds: "The band has a great legacy and to be a part of it is amazing."
The Drifters concert is at the Victoria Hall on Friday September 23. For tickets call the box office on 0844 871 7649.