Innervisions Festival 3rd July – 14th July 2018 Lalah, Angie and Moonchild

The Innervisions Festival happened in London between 3rd July to 14th July with a line-up of some huge names such as George Clinton, Angie Stone, Blackstar, The Pharcyde, Incognito, Carleen Anderson, Lalah Hathaway, Jimmy Cliff & Mavis Staples and the more recent Moonchild and Mario Biondi who I heard was absolutely amazing. https://www.innervisionsfestival.com/

LALAH HATHAWAY AT KOKO IN CAMDEN - TUESDAY 3RD JULY 2018

I had the privilege of attending Lalah Hathaway and Angie Stone in between legging it over to Manchester to see the big boys themselves, Earth, Wind and Fire - but that story is for another time.
I had heard so much about Lalah Hathaway, contemporary R&B and Jazz singer famous daughter of the legendary Donny Hathaway who was an American jazz, blues, soul and gospel singer, songwriter, arranger, organist, and pianist.  So when given the opportunity to go see Lalah, someone whose sultry, mellow soulful vocals often mesmerised me, to be in a position to go see this legend perform live, I was both excited and curious.

Lalah has won several Grammy Awards - Best R&B Performance along with Snarky Puppy for "Something" in 2014.  In February, 2015, she won the Grammy Award for Best Traditional R&B Performance along with Robert Glasper and Malcolm-Jamal Warner for "Jesus Children" and in 2016 she won the Grammy Award for Best Traditional R&B Performance for the cover of her father's 1972 hit "Little Ghetto Boy."

Lalah was supported by Joel Culpepper, an R&B singer-songwriter from London who I now call Mr Energetic Entertainer who enthralled the crowd with his James Brown moves and swanky ensemble and representation of British fashion and modern culture, who is known for his distinctive vocal style.

Before Lalah came on stage her energetic DJ, bought the audience to life playing some serious, serious classics from artists such as Luther Van Dross, Michael Jackson,  and many more.  This was the party before well..the party.  One could hear shouts of "tune" as the crowd reminisced, jumped, rocked and swayed.   The DJ laid down Camoe's Candy and that was it, within our limited space we were determined to thrown down the moves and we did.  Synchonising and having fun, the DJ rocked us way back, way back into the 70's and 80's.  Then it was time to cool down in time for the lady herself, Lalah Hathaway who presented her cool, dulcet soulful vibes at KOKO in Camden to an expectant crowd.  Even though she was competing with the Football, England were playing Columbia, one can only guess that there were mixed sentiments in the crowd.  However,  people were still there to see their idol.

Lalah threw down many of her classics yet the crowd went into overdrive when she gave her rendition of 'A Song for you' which was originally sang by her father.  A stillness descended in the auditorium, and as I looked around, I could see many were transfixed, others were visibly taking a trip down memory lane as that Hathaway, legendary magic cascaded into people's souls and couples smooched closer together ...mmmmmm.   Then she meandered into "If I could I'd give you the world / Wrap it all around you" and the crowd drew breath.  This was her rendition of Anita Baker's Angel a stunning performance where  the crowd huddled even closer together singing at the top of their voices...wow...memories from back in the day.

All in all there was a deep rich lazy calmness to Lalah's performance and at times it almost drew sleep my way.  However, a good night was had by all.  Joel, Lalah, Football and....long lost friends meeting up for a musical jamboree.  Thank you Lalah for once again bringing some of the Hathaway magic to London.

Video Link to Performance: https://youtu.be/AkUEWqY9hFg

 

ANGIE STONE AT THE ROUNDHOUSE, CAMDEN, FRIDAY 6TH JULY 2018

The show opened with Tony Momrelle a British R&B and Jazz singer one of the current lead vocalists with the band Incognito. 

Then with bated breath we waited and waited. Angie Stone. Three times Grammy Nominated Singstress was back. Soulful, real, authentic, deep, funky and a sister of some deep soulful lyrics - Angie rocked The Roundhouse in Camden on Friday 6th July. Her sassyness swayed as she rocked her performances, as much as her full frame would allow, but she was going to rock anyways because you could tell the music was speaking to her body. Angie Stone was certainly back.  I just loved the way Angie constantly did her little turns to her musicians whilst nodding that great "Fro" of hers a representation of her cultural roots and not afraid to embrace it.

Angie Stone is an American recording artist, producer, and actress who rose to fame in the late 1970s as member of the hip hop trio The Sequence.  Soon after, Stone began working with futuristic rap group Mantronix and singer Lenny Kravitz.  In the early 1990s, she became a member of the R&B trio Vertical Hold.

The unity between herself and her backing singers was clear. A sisterhood that individually were powerful and when they each gave their own individual rendition each took the roof off the place in their own way.  Yet together they were dynamic and that bond and closeness  was felt and seen in terms of how they interacted with each other and in their performance.    Angie made it clear of their importance to her, in her life, as her backbone and support and she was their Sister in Love. Love was the theme of the day and that was certainly felt.   Engaging the audience was part of the treat for the evening, and at times it felt as if I was in conversation with a big sister.  Angie took us back to her Hip Hop days and tore it up by giving a rapturous rendition with one of the original members of The Sequence.

As  Angie rocked out some of her old classics, No More Rain, Rain Down and Brotha the crowd cheered, sang, swayed and hollered.  This soulstress and songstress certainly knew how to whip the crowd into having a hallelujah moment.  In between her songs, Angie narrated very poignantly about life, shared parts of her journey and encouraged the audience about life and how to live it.  Yet one of the more memorable parts of the evening was when she invited a gentleman to the stage, who had followed her on facebook and who had stated how many of her shows he had been too. Angie invited him, honoured him and saluted him onto the stage where she sang "Brotha" to him.  Ironic in a way that he was from another 'culture' and yet she honored him with the track 'Brotha' - a statement to Angie stone as a woman of humanity.  This guy was in awe of an icon who was so not in her ego, but who was simply performing her art and passion from a place of heart.  She was sharing about her life's tumultuous experiences which she then captured in her music and for which now, he was on stage, with her being honoured by her.  The crowd went into a flurry of sentimental giggly honouring for this move by Angie who also gave this gentleman permission to get her phone number and email address.  A high five, I hear someone say.

Then things were ramped up with the energetic Omar and Tony Momrelle joining Angie on stage and it all became one big party.  I left on a high and went home to listen to some more of this great woman's melodies. Another wonderful performance from a very powerful down to earth artist.

 

MOONCHILD

LA-based Soul and Jazz trio Amber, Andris, and Max bring you music for the soul.  These guys were in London to perform and from what I heard, it was something out of this world.  Amber's dulcet neo-soul voice makes you want to sit with a plate of strawberries and ice-cream on your verandah all day long whilst waiting for sunset.   In May 2017, Moonchild released their highly-anticipated album ‘Voyager’ which pioneered a unique blend of soul and new-school jazz and was fronted by the standout debut single “Cure”.  Listen below to their interview.  You will certainly become inspired as I was certainly blown away by what I've heard from this band who have quickly grown a huge following and reputation.

 

Big Thanks to HushPR for securing these interviews.