Femi Kuti heads to the Jazz Cafe on Monday 4th of November and Tuesday 5th November. The acclaimed Afrobeat/jazz heavyweight will perform two shows with his band The Postive Force. Femi has enjoyed an illustrious careeer following in the footsteps of his iconic father Fela Kuti, who was famed for his incredible musicianship, revolutionary teachings and astute politcal observations which he never shied away from talking about. If you are a fan of great music with a message, head down to the Jazz Cafe next month. Tickets are priced from £22.50 and can be purchased at www.themamacolive.com
Any Bilal fans in the house? If so, you could be in with the chance of winning a pair of tickets to see the soul singer when he heads to London for one night only on Thursday 24th October. Brought to you by Keep The Faith Events, Bilal is appearing at the Islington Assembly Hall, Islington Town Hall, Upper Street, Islington, London, N1 2UD.
Considered one of the great voices of soul fusion, Bilal released his debut album 1st Born Second in 2001, which boasted the popular single Soul Sista. The follow-up, Love for Sale (2006), was shelved but leaked entirely online and has since become an underground classic. In the following years, Bilal has collaborated and performed with some of the industry’s most prominent artists including Beyonce, Common, Jay-Z, Erykah Badu, Robert Glasper, Boney James, Musiq and The Roots among others. He also covered Radiohead’s High & Dry for the 2006 Radiohead tribute, Exit Music: Songs With Radio Heads. Bilal also appears in Dave Chappelle’s Block Party. Bilal has recently released his third album “A Love Surreal” ( BBE ) to worldwide acclaim.
To win a pair of tickets answer the following question:
What’s the name of Bilal’s debut album?
Send your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org
The closing date is Tuesday 22nd October at 12pm, the winner will be chosen at random and notified by email.
If you wish to purchase tickets visit here
And for further details visit Keep The Faith Events
Well alrighty then Ms Beverley, you really didn’t come to play. Peep the theatrical trailer for the recently revamped west end version of the classic romantic thriller, The Bodyguard, which now stars British soul songstress Beverley Knight in the lead role. In the clip we get to see and hear snippets of Bev’s interpretation of those classic Whitney songs, as well as soak up the ambience of this dynamic, fast-paced production (The X Factor style montage is a nice touch). I’m really looking forward to seeing this again, I need to book tickets pronto.
I was saddened to hear about the passing of comedy veteran Felix Dexter a few hours ago. At the time of writing this no official statement has been made about the cause of death, but it’s been speculated that he had been suffering from bone marrow cancer. As news of his death blazed across the social networking sites like wild fire, I found it quite poignant that his departure would occur as we ‘celebrate’ Black History Month in the UK. As more and more people begin to question the need for a BHM even within our own community, the passing of our unsung heroes remind us why we must never become indifferent about the contributions that the likes of this incredible talent has made to our rich cultural legacy. Felix Dexter was that guy. He was by far one of the standout stars from the BBC 2 hit comedy The Real McCoy, which aired on BBC2 in the early-to- mid ’90s. With characters such as the loveable Nigerian student, Nathan, and Douglas, the roots and culture lawyer, through Felix we were finally presented with authentic representations of ourselves that not only had the ability to raise a chuckle or induce a belly laugh, but help us make sense of our cultural nuances and shared experience of living as minorities in good ole Blighty.
The void left by The Real McCoy has been felt by many. My girl Janice Spence (@madnews) only posted a salute to Dexter last month; my sis Davina Hamilton from The Voice created a heavily supported campaign to bring back the ground-breaking comedy, and the brilliant Shakara Speaks from The British Blacklist penned an insightful piece on the socio-political statements the show was able to make using comedy as a conduit.
We thank God for YouTube. Tomorrow Black History Month will take an unexpected turn as I will endeavour to take a trip down memory lane while schooling my son on the teachings of brother Na-tan-yul.
RIP Felix Dexter
This past Sunday I was at the O2 and noticed a throng of beautiful black folk from young to old, dressed up in their finery queuing up to enter the IndigO2 concert venue. Not being aware of any major concert scheduled to take place, my interest was piqued, and I’ve since discovered that the Time2Shine finals took place at the popular London venue. Time2Shine is an X-Factor style talent competition where Gospel singers battle it out for a coveted £100,000 worth of prizes which includes a £10,000 cash prize and record deal. Over 2000 music fans were present to witness the gripping final which saw Anastasia Baker go head-to-head with fellow-contestants before being crowned with the title. Anastasia, who was ironically a former contestant on the X-Factor, said, “I feel like I’m at the beginning of a new journey and doors are truly going to open for me. I can’t wait to get into the studio. Thank you so much to all the fans who ran up their phone bills and voted for me!”.
The event was hosted by TV veteran, Diane Louise Jordan and featured performances from Lurine Cato, Beverley Trotman and Noel Robinson. Catch highlights of the final on Saturday 19th October on OHTV, Sky Channel 199 at 6.30pm.
This week I met one of my writer heroes. Anyone who reads this blog will know that I’m a massive fan of Dorothy Koomson, the prolific best-selling author who has penned an impressive eight novels. On Tuesday Dorothy invited me and several other journalists to a special lunch held at Soho House to celebrate the imminent arrival of novel numero eight – The Flavours Of Love. Check out the blurb:
Ladies, I urge you to head to your local newsagents and pick up the latest copy of Blackhair which hit the shelves today. On the cover you’ll find the stunning new faces model Paula Almeida, who hails from Brazil but is now based in the UK. The image was part of a shoot produced by MIZANI which showcases the latest Autumn/Winter hair trends (this year it’s all about dual textures, ladies) with all styling performed by the current L’Oreal Mizani Afro Catwalk Look Award Winner – Iwona Szerugu. Elsewhere in the mag you’ll find interviews with Paula Patton, Beverley Knight and trend forecasts on hair, fashion and beauty to carry us through to spring.