DISCO in all its glory burst back on the Philharmonic stage with a sparkling concert that had nostalgia stamped on every single note.

This was a celebration of one of Liverpool's greatest chart-topping bands ... with a little help from some old friends.

Liverpool's home-grown soul superstars The Real Thing (named after a certain drink) set the scene for their current UK and European Greatest Hits tour by stressing that they were well and truly 'home.'

Long live the kings of Liverpool 8, who are marking 50 years in the music industry. Britain's most successful black group of all time.

Wirral Globe:

'The Real Thing' on stage

They have a best-selling anthology album out and a film about their career was a critical and office smash. On stage they are still at the top of their game.

Indeed this was an evening of so many memories aided by DJ - The Baron who was on stage acting as a groovy MC.

This was a gig with real atmosphere.

The support act could not have been more appropriate - the '70s/'80s stars Odyssey who also had a string of hits now fronted by Steve Collazo who carries on their 'family' legacy.

They are in fine voice and funky dance steps with hits to match including Native New Yorker and If You're Looking for a Way Out just two musical signposts down memory lane.

The Real Thing are now two class showmen - original vocalists Chris Amoo and Dave Smith.

They paid heart-felt tribite to former members via a home movie and a huge applause went out for the late, great Eddie Amoo who passed away three years ago.

Both charismatic Chris and Eddie are in their late sixties but you would not think it as they strutted across the stage in white suits.

Infectious humour and voices as crystal clear as ever make their showcase a real celebration.

I and many of wide- aged aged group audience were transported back to the clubs and venues of Merseyside with every intro from the super five-piece band.

The hits - a soundtrack to so many lives - came thick and fast.

Only on the atmospheric 1977 concept song Children of the Ghetto did the echo chamber over-power the vocals. It was a pity because the song has fine lyrics and remains one of their best self-penned compositions.

But this was a night of Disco delights that proved that their songs have all the staying power of Abba, Kool ánd The Gang and Earth Wind and Fire.

Indeed, a medly of dance anthems including Ladies Night went down a storm. The audience on their feet at the drop of a disco beat.

You To Me Are Everything sounds as fresh as ever. Timeless - just like The Real Thing.

Can't Get By Without You, You'll Never Know What You're Missing and Whenever You Need My Love sealed a triumphant home-coming.

Can You Feel the Force was more than an encore - highlight in a magical history tour of their back catalogue of sheer classics from local heroes.

Let's hope the band never call it a day - with a new album on the way and a promise to keep on going, their fans at the Phil left happy with a boost of much-needed optimism in these unpredictable times.

The Real Thing Greatest Hits Tour

Four Stars

'Aint Nothing like The Real Thing.

www.therealthingofficial.com for tour details