28th November 2015, Under The Bridge, Chelsea
Adrain Gibson asked me to play for The Blackbyrds once again like he did back in the late 90’s when we worked together at The Jazz Cafe. With original members Keith Killgoe on drums, Orville Saunders lead guitar, Allan C Barnes sax and flute and Joe Hall on bass it could only be one conclusion. 100% pure “Do It Fluid”. Another packed night of old school jazz funk and soul die hards witness musical splendour as the band performed some Donald Byrd classics “Think Twice” (sounded so glorious), “Dominoes” and “Blackbyrd” alongside some of their own musical brilliance. They touched “Walking In Rhythm”, “Happy Music”, an unbelievable version of “Do It Fluid” and a 10-minute version of “Rock Creek Park”. The keyboard replacement for the original Kevin Toney was on par and their new lead vocalist fits in nicely in this current line up. Absolutely one of my fave gigs with huge soul surviving love and thanks to those kind words who came from those who stayed for the after performance session and didn’t want to leave before the 11.30pm curfew.
29th November 2015, KOKO Camden
I’ve seen packed events at this venue since I used to frequent it in 1983 when it was known as Camden Palace both as a paying punter and as a working DJ. However I’d never seen it packed to the rafters on a Sunday with all 5 or 6 tiers to capacity. The Tower Of Power ensemble with original members Emillio Castillo and Stephen “Doc” Kupka fronted vocally by the truly incredible vocals of Ray Greene were breathtakingly amazing. The mixed aged audience knew every single word to each song and totally showed their appreciation for probably the funkiest band still performing from the San Francisco Bay Area. I was happy because although he’s not Lenny Williams, Ray Greene who actually plays as part of the horn section also, sang my favourite “So Very Hard To Go”. As musicians TOP were faultless and synchronised more than a Timex watch. I really was impressed what I saw and was fortunate to represent with some old school funk and break beats that seemed to be appreciated. Next time they are here you must catch them.
20th – 21st November 2015, Jazz Cafe
Returning to my long-standing residency of 24 years at Jazz Cafe is always a joy especially when for the umpteenth time I work with “Soul Don Of South London” Omar. Packed both nights Omar changed up his set and showcased a wide variation of his long and almost 30-year career. “Feeling You”, “It’s So” “Fuck War, Make Love” and “When We Touch” were flung into the mix to an always appreciative dedicated fan based crowd. With his faithfuls Lex on keyboards, Chris Balling on vocals, Omar includes “This Is Not A Love Song”, “Be Thankful For What You’ve Got” and introduced on alternative nights Don E singing on “Be Thankful” and Kele Le Roc on their funky duet “Come On”. Naturally he does “There’s Nothing Like This” and always includes a bit of his cheeky chappy sense of humour. Good to see some old faces from my past like Sharon Stanley and Lisa Missah Warden (massive Omar fan).
15th November 2015, London.
Gwen Dickey: Nothing “dicky” about Gwen – she delivered all our favourites from a wheelchair!
Meli’sa Morgan: Mis”s”ed her set? Then you really are “… living in a Fool’s Paradise …” – silver (her dress code) but with liquid gold oozing from her mouth!
Soul II Soul: “The Meaning of Life”? No need for a Thesaurus for this group as the lesson came across loud and clear!
Loose Ends: Nothing loose about their ends … neatly packaged and everything tucked in nicely!!
The S.O.S Band: Rescue needed for this group? Their set had us on dry land and viewing an oasis of sheer delight!
The Whispers: The decibels were off the Richter scale when they performed – no whispering here as their thunderous set put paid to that!
Patti LaBelle: Sassy, soulful, VERY LOUD and, most definitely, blew away the youngsters before her! 71 years of age but, without a doubt, one of THE greatest and powerful voices of any woman (or man!) I know!!
For those who missed this experience, all I can say is that you would have been brought back in time – a time when life really was all it should have been … happy, soulful and absolutely AMAZING!!Luciana Moschetti
7th November 2015, Halfway House, Essex
This was undoubtedly one of the highlight gigs for me of 2015. Bob Masters as the orchestrating linchpin Bamber Gascoigne set up a musical university challenge for his roster of Dj’s to dig deep into their crates for a night of people voting with their feet and their scoring cards. This was Madness V’s House That Jack Built an all dayer with flexing between old school house and hip-hop vs disco and soul. This was a remember remember the 7th of November with some inspiring sets upon my arrival around 6pm from Tony Fenandez and Brian Jay till 8pm. This was packed event and I relished enjoying my set dropping “ voodoo Ray”, “ Flipjack”,”Blacker” and “ Salsa House” between 8-9pm. Both debuton’s Brandon Block and Ronnie Herel tore the roof off with their cheeky sublimely mixed disco house sets 9-11pm and caught Paul Clarks dropping Kariya” Let Me Love You For Tonight” before catching the last train back to London. Great crowd who were loving it like MacDonald’s. 11 out of 10 Choons.