Thursday, May 19, 2005

Kindred Spirit - 16/05/05 review by immpe

Lord ha Mercy! I had so much fun at this event, I prayed for the poor soul going through all that pain to counter balance the pleasure I experienced.


Kindred Spirit has a reputation for throwing really, really, ridiculously really good gigs, and they did not fail on this occasion.


The Night started with musical entertainment from the Kindred Family as singer/songwriter, the spectacular J’Nay, a new member to the family, mounted the stage and did unrealistic Justice to “Live it up”, written by current music sensation, John Legend.


The follow up was, displaced Greenwich-born, American-raised, currently London-based, poet Deep Cobra. He took the stage bravely, and rightly told us to “Breathe” (“Breathe” being the title poem from his latest CD offering…”Breathe”), a brilliant observation on life, and ended with another equally intricate poem about love. His calm mellow musing set the tone for the night.


In that same tone, Alex Holland who recently performed with Mica Paris on hit TV show “Baby One More Time”, got and he mic and sang most beautifully about the labours of life and a way to float above it all by putting it to the back of our minds. He certainly achieved that feat.


Next to don the stage was another of the Kindred Family, Its mother, daughter, and naughty lil’sister with a delectable voice, Michelle Escoffery. Ahhh, many a moments were spent revelling between the notes as the tight led and vocally blended by Michelle left us hanging to the note tails of the saxophonist, spiralling outta notation control, completely disregarding the rhythm and the beat, but somehow finding it at the apex of eargasms and bring us right back to Earth.


… respectful silence for the pleasure/pain theory again, that poor man must have wished for death…


Moving on rhapsodically, the first half was ended by male vocalist Charlie Brown.

Smooth vocals, smooth songs, soulful, versatile, sexy, Fresh! As he sang “sometimes I am afraid to be myself”, I reckon the whole audience completely forgot themselves and wallowed in his story. He is truly a talent to watch out for. Charlie Brown, you heard it right hur on, watch that space. 


After the break, the first vocalist was Charlene Hector. The same lady that smiled and sang “I wish…” in the Coca-Cola advert not to long ago has gone on to do bigger and better things and we were privileged to get a taste of ‘em. She sang eloquently with that sweet voice of hers (pleasure pain theory again, pray for that man), about the courage required to rise from heartbreak, about the belief needed to start searching again, about Love.


As she got off the stage to a hemispheric applause, Nii Parkes took the stage, and boy, did he wear it. He started out reading a poem he wrote aged 13 containing phrases that 13 year old boys should know absolutely nothing about. Following this, was a mellow piece written specifically for this performance sitting on an aeroplane ‘up above the world so high. On this occasion, Nii Parkes worked with Kindred’s house band, and they worked well, the blend of poetry and mellow music complimented each other beautifully, a feat I have only seen accomplished by Zena Edwards. And to finish of this dazzling set, Nii told us a story disguised as a poem. It was of a recent encounter in which a lady walked up to him and asked “Can I have that Erotic poem you just wrote?” To which Mister Parkes replied “Lady, I don’t write erotic poems”. Thus began a well choreographed performance, with the band again, of an encounter that led us back to the poetic and often humours definitions of his love poems, in which he said “her smile is like a hand on my dick, so walk slowly so I can brace myself”… Mister Parkes proved once again why he is one of the most talented performance poets in London. Brilliant, brilliant set.


And last, but my no means imaginable, the least, (being the indirect cause of a great percentage of the pain suffered by that poor man who probably would have pawned his own mother to end it all at this point), Natalie Williams took the stage like a butterfly with a bee sting who knows extremely well how to use it. She performed songs form her third album ‘Secret Garden’ and as well as the kindred band behind, she had her producer, the Mercury prize nominated, Drew Horley on keys, and a trumpeter, the stage was lit.  She started of singing “butterflies” a laid back thoughtful song about an encounter with a butterfly and a piano with a mad jazzy-rhythm and funk to it, and lord ha mercy! can she sing. Following this was more material from her Album a psychedelic song called ‘psychedelic love’ and one of my faves of the night- “you were only meant to borrow my hat…” with the same vibe as the first one but with added hard beats and her vocals just floating above it all, her backing singers were hot, right there with her all the way. Truly a spectacular Night.


Kindred Spirit is held at THE RHYTHM FACTORY 16-18 Whitechapel Rd, London E1 1EW, Nearest Tube, Aldgate East.. for more info, visit the website,


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