24 February 2013

Its All About Music: From Solange Knowles to Allen Stone


Kimberly Anne - Playing at Dingwalls



Well, well, its been a while since my last post on the blog. Happy New Year and all that good stuff. Hope you all had a lovely xmas and new years. Moving house and turning into a DIY chick meant I spent more time operating drills and electric saws than slaving away on the blog. As my birthday falls towards the end of the year and being that most of the xmas holidays was spent in bed due to a crazy bug that went round. I thought of treating my ears to a little song and dance...


The last few weeks have been filled with music to full volume! When I heard that Solange was coming to the UK, I knew I couldn't miss her performance. To start off the year on a musical note, my friend and I swang by East London's  XOYO January 16th to indulge in the sultry delights of Solange Knowles and her new band. Arriving late on stage like a true diva in head to toe Miu Miu's retro print pant suit. Quickly getting to work, she belted out a few songs from previous albums before showcasing  two of her recent singles from her 3rd album to be released sometime this year.

Solange Knowles at XOYO
Ms Knowles' afro softly bathed in purple hues as she got the crowd dancing with effortless retro swag in her first London gig for 4 years. The whole evening felt as if you were taken back into time and as the cool sounds of 60's, 70's, 90s to the present in the refreshing and engaging vibe that was oozing from the cool tones of Sandcastle Disco, T.O.NY, Lovers in the Parking Lot before ending the night with Losing you. This is the same venue I watched Alex Clare, its not too big but big enough to make the whole musical session feel like a private gig.  I really enjoyed Solange's show so I am now trying to decide on whether to folk out for Beyoncé's tickets in April. Hopefully I am not disappointed with a sold out tour by the time I decide...

Solange Knowles at XOYO

As if a session with Solange was not enough I got a call from my niece just before she broke off for half term here's how the conversation went:
Da Niece(this is what I call her all the time): Hi auntie Bee
Me: Hey
Da Niece: Are you free on the 19th?
Me: Yeah, what's going on?
Da Niece: Would you like to go to a concert?
Me: *Long Pause; I don't normally get calls from my niece during the day unless its going to cost me some £££.* Sure, who and how much is it going to cost me?"
Da Niece: *Laughs because she knew I sassed her out* Allen Stone and £16. So would you like to go?
I only had time to check out one video on Youtube which, looking back now I judged Allen Stone harshly on one horrible video. The gig was going to be at Dingwalls in Camden with entry age starting at 14. I thought I was surely going to be surrounded by teenage hormones that I might have to zap once or twice. When we got there it, firstly great timing as we towards the front of the queue which score my niece and I front row! The ages ranged from teens to the forties.

Kimberly Anne - Playing at Dingwalls
Opening the show was Kimberly Anne. Tasked with warming up the audience before Allen came on. Kim Anne, a talented fresh sounding artist who I am sure I have not heard the last of. Spotting an afro and a guitar(yes she had clothes on too!) sent the audience in to silence when her guitar and mellow voice echoed into Dingwalls to a mix of Tracey Chapman and Emeli Sande undertones from her first tune. I like the fact that her it was just her and the guitar showcasing raw talent in the honestly written lyrics such as those from Bury It There(available on iTunes) to getting the crowd singing her backing to La La. Kimberly Anne's opening to Allen Stone was engaging and soft but utterly captivating.

Allen Stone

Allen Stone - At Dingwalls

Allen Stone - Encore  Guitar Solo

Allen Stone
With Kim Anne wrapping things up, it wasn't long before Mr Stone graced us with his presence. From the moment he stepped on stage the crowd went into a screaming frenzy and I suddenly I thought they had all either got drank while Kim Anne was on stage or this guy might actually be talented afterall. It only took the first the song to have me drank on the sounds of Allen Stone. It was almost as if Allen's talent was inducing seizures not only on the crowd but on Allen himself if the dance moves where anything to go by. The BOY is good! I haven't seen that kind of energy on stage this side of 2013! With a vocal range that could almost rival Beyoncé's stage screams.  Dingswall's roof was almost ripped off its hinches as the crowd went into dancing madness as Allen split the crowd into two in a dance-off competition. If you are into gigs you have got to add Allen Stone on your list; a gripping 2-hour set of Allen's mesmerizing flash and fast moves as he belted out tunes that had the crowd dizzying in hypnotic effect.  A truly talented band; the guitarist sent us into a jazzy tail spin while the drummer came back with an engaging, energetic technical drumming full of musical passion none like I have seen before. The best £35 I have spent so far. My niece also caught one of the drummer's sticks that were thrown into the crowd so the whole evening was totally worth it! Videos and picture are on Youtube and Facebook...


Labéque Sisters - © Southbank Centre
I am afraid it doesn't end there...My boyfriend also got tickets to see Labéque Sisters playing Ravel's Mother Goose Suite. A musical interpretation of Sleeping Beauty, Beauty and the Beast and The Fairy Garden before playing with the Kalakan Trio who had just come back from a tour with Madonna a week before. Fantastic to watch! Video of their encore harmony on my Youtube Channel.
Enjoy the music and as always email me or leave me a comment here or facebook if you have any  questions.
PS. For those in London into modern art; you have to see the Rain Room at the Barbican. A mix of science, art and technology rolled into one!

Please don't forget to “like” me on Facebook if you haven’t done so already! Thanks for your support!

Solange Knowles, watching Beyonce's Sister in concert. Music Festivals in London. XOYO in Old Street. Solange Knowles playing in London before moving on to Paris. Solange's writing has appeared on Beyonce's previous albums.

1 comment:

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