Review: Navi - King of Pop

Navi: King of Pop
The Spa Pavilion, Felixstowe.
Tuesday 24th July 2018 at 7.30pm

Navi may be the number one impersonator of Michael Jackson, but he is so much more than just a Michael Jackson look-alike who is able to do his dance moves and sing his songs well.  

Originally from the Caribbean but residing in London, Navi displays a dedication to his role which deserves total respect. He is a professional who has studied the image, style, voice, songs, moves, humour and mannerisms of his pop hero. However, he is also a kind and approachable man, greeting his fans in a calm and gentlemanly way, whilst appreciating the life chances this role has given him.

At fifteen Navi was a huge Michael Jackson fan. He is now in his forties and travelling around the World doing what he loves. He was driven and determined enough to prove to his family that he could make a living out of emulating the King of Pop, whilst continuing with his studies. Certainly the Felixstowe audience were appreciative that he did persevere with his dream of emulating Michael Jackson. He is a living gift for Michael Jackson fans everywhere. 

Felixstowe was just one of the venues throughout a 30 day UK tour with Navi’s four - piece band, his dancers and Michael Jackson’s lead guitarist for three world tours, rock-chick Jennifer Batten.

The show began with footage of Navi being interviewed on various, mainly US, chat shows. Then there were clips showing Navi being employed as a decoy for Michael Jackson; whether it was on his tours or during his promotions. In addition, there was reference to Navi starring in a new movie about his hero; Michael Jackson: ‘Searching for Neverland’. Finally, we saw Michael Jackson applauding Navi when he performed at his birthday parties in New York and Los Angeles. Special moments for any MJ fan to see. 

Musically, the show commenced with Navi performing Smooth Criminal with his two dancers. From there the audience were treated to performances of songs such as Dirty Diana, Scream, and They Don’t Care About Us. Navi sang each song just as Michael would have done. It really was like watching the real thing. 

Jennifer Batten was invited on stage in the latter part of the first set. She was introduced as the lead guitarist who was initially asked to accompany Michael on his Bad tour back in 1987. Anyone who could remember that album was jokingly deemed as ‘old’ according to Navi. Jennifer then gave a brief account of the time when she met Bubbles the chimp and how she suffered bites to her arm as a result! She subsequently went on to talk about how she travelled the world when on tour with Michael and how she was treated like ‘royalty’. 

In the second part of the show Navi and his dancers treated the audience to a medley of songs by the Jackson Five and from the Off the Wall album. Songs which included
I Want You Back, Rock with You and Can You Feel It? No Michael Jackson tribute show would be complete without Thriller. It was there, including the dancers in ghoulish costumes and the iconic Thriller dance moves.

The show concluded with Navi stating that he was suffering from a back injury, which no one would have known, before going on to sing Man in the Mirror. 
After the performance I asked Navi about his back injury, to which he simply said, ‘I just didn’t want to cancel the show’. That statement alone displays this man’s professionalism and awesomeness. Long may Navi continue to do what he is doing.

Reviewed by Gill Atacocugu