Wednesday, 13 February 2013

A Soulful Night to Remember

A few years ago I hung up my raving heels and opted for alternative ways to spend my late nights and early mornings. It’s not to say that I don’t like to have a great night out on the town every now and then, but just not every Saturday like I used to.

I have always loved live music, but ever since raving became a bore to me I’ve begun to enjoy it even more. So back in the summer of last year when my bestie told me that there was this amazing live music night that was coming to Birmingham called Soulive, naturally I was all over it.

Not really knowing what to expect we rocked up to the Rainbow Warehouse on a warm summers evening to experience what was I kid you not, one of the best nights we’ve ever had! The selection of artists was top quality and the crowd were there for one thing only, and that was for the love of real music.  So when I found out that Soulive Birmingham was ready for round 2, I accepted my Facebook invite before it was even sent out!
Due to such a huge success the first time, it seemed that word of mouth spread like wildfire because this time the event had been moved to the larger room at the same venue which they had no trouble filling at all.

The artists on the night were just as incredible as the artists from the previous event. The DJ of the night was Mike Bigz , who was more than on point mixing old school hip hop, Soul and R&B with the new school, keeping the vibe alive in between performances and at the end of the night for the dance floor skankers like moi.

First artist of the night was the Manchester cutie Daniel Walker who set the night off right with a few loves songs. This was the first time I had heard of Daniel and I was pretty impressed by his performance.

If you were a fan of Usher in his days of Confessions (specifically the loves songs) then I think you should give Mr Walker a listen. He definitely has talent and I think he’s just getting started so watch this space.

Next up was Lumi HD from Birmingham. I’m still baffled as to how I live in Birmingham and have never come across this gem star before?
Lumi’s performance had a great and infectious energy and she was having an absolute blast on stage with her band. Lumi  also had a great confidence about her that I always love to see in artists, she seemed to have a sense of spiritual and creative freedom which I find that not enough artists these days dare to have.

If you like artist like India Arie and Lauryn Hill who sing the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, then I’m pretty sure you'll love this lady. Check out some of her stuff on YouTube and SoundCloud.

Marie Dahlstrom the Scandinavian Soul singer kicked off the next performance with a cover of one of my artist to watch of the moment Miss Jhene Aiko’s ‘Higher’, which I can say definitely set Marie off to a great start with the crowd.

When Marie entered the stage she apologised as she and her too cool for school band missed sound check as they had to come from London, but after the fastest sound check I’d ever heard they still did an amazing job.
Marie has such a powerful voice but if I am to be honest I feel like she has so much more to give, she’s like a little Lioness waiting to roar and I think that when she eventually roars, my oh my she will roar big! But that’s no discredit to her performance at all as Dahlstrom and her band did a great performance and her sax player even had two lovely ladies behind me all weak in the knees which was quite amusing.
But if you like soul with a funk and jazz edge, I would  definitely recommend little Miss Marie Dahlstrom. You can check her out on YouTube and SoundCloud.

Next we had our very own Birmingham artist who is doing incredibly well right now, Mr Jacob Banks. If you like your soul timeless and deep noted then this is your dude.

Jacob gave his hometown a performance to be proud of with an Acoustic set with a mixture of his own songs and a nice little medley that had all the ladies on a ‘I’m in the mood for a real mans’ love’ kinda grove.
I managed to catch up with Mr Banks before his performance for a little chat about what’s he’s been up to, his success this far and what the world can expect from him for 2013 and thereafter, so watch this space.But in the meantime you can check out the man of the moment on his YouTube Channel Jacob Banks, or on SoundCloud. 

After a Jacob we had another B-Town artist, Monique Thomas. When this lady entered the stage with her full band and three backing singers, we knew this pretty lady meant business. Starting her set with a little sump’n sump’n up tempo and uplifting, Miss Thomas and her band definitely had the Rainbow Warehouse feeling that we had all paid money for an arena show because they really went in.

I have to say that my favourite part of Monique’s set was her spine tingling love song medley.
Now if there is one thing that you should know about me is that I love Bob Marley, so when she started off with the most beautiful rendition of Mr Marley’s ‘Is This Love’ that I have ever heard I thought I had died and gone to heaven. It honestly filled me with so much excitement, amazement, happiness and joy all at once that I literally didn’t even know what to do with myself. The harmonies that were coming from her backing vocalists were just too much to handle for a sucker for love like moi.
If you love a good love song and up lifting music then Monique is your gal. You can check her out here on YouTube and Sound Cloud.

The final artist performance of the night came from yet another lovely Northerner who judging by the round of applause he receive when entering the stage, was the artist the almost everyone had come out to see.
JP Cooper is a name that you definitely do not need to sleep on… AT ALL!
Before the event I did a little background research on some of the artist that were performing on the night, and I have to say that I as soon as I saw JP’s YouTube video for his song Oh The Water’ I was floored, so you can only imagine how I felt when I was able to see him perform it live.

Cooper started his set with his song ‘Oh Brother’ and within seconds I had Goosebumps.

It has been a long time since I’ve been blown away by an artist to the point where there are actually no word to express how amazingly talented they are.  At one point after finishing a song the whole room cheered and then fell into a silence as though we were all too scared to breathe, move or blink in case we missed a beat! I don’t think any of us actually realised how silent we were until JP told us how moved he was by everyone’s silence. Now I have been to my fair share of concerts and gigs, but as far as I can remember I have never witnessed an artist silence a crowd the way that Mr Cooper Silenced us.
I had the absolute pleasure of interviewing JP before his performance and I kid you not, he was the humblest man I have ever met who was just happy to be able to share his music with whoever cared to listen. So if you want to know more about the dude with the midas voice, who is also the biggest slice of humble pie you may come across this decade, watch this space, but in the meantime check out Mr Cooper on his YouTube channel.

So overall, I think it’s fair to say that Soulive have done it yet again. They seem to consistently dig deep to bring forward the finest selection of real, top quality underground soul artists, making their events nights to remember, and I for one cannot wait for round Three!

Till next time amigos.

A huge thanks for Andrea Thomas Mike Bigz and the rest of the Grey Cotton and Soulive team for bringing such an amazing event to Birmingham, it has been long overdue.

Love Sara (A Little lady in love with REAL music)

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