To sum up August’s Pop Revue showcase in one word: Fiesty.
In two words: Fabulously Fiesty.
Looking at the promo flyer before the gig, I knew it was going to be pretty damn good. Ben Davis, Sharlette HK & LeJaune Royer in one evening guarantees a show to remember. The other artists on the bill were new to me, adding an exciting element of the Unknown. (In no particular order here…)
Emelia J swaggered onstage in the coolest get up ever. Something like a cross between a Genie of The Lamp and a Bronx Street Urchin.
Bags of attitude, tanned abs on show, she launched into an edgy beat heavy dance pop set, and confirmed what I knew already: this was going to be a cracker of an evening. Emelia’s strong yet sweet voice contrasts brilliantly with the ballsy lyrics and feel of the tracks.
Then there was R&B soul singer Ruchelle Scott, managing to look both hot and cool at the same time, in check shirt and hula hoop sized gold earrings.
Hips a’swinging, lips a’singing, hitting us with no nonsense lyrics and a strong, resonant vocal. Judging by this faultless set, one senses Ruchelle is an artist who takes her craft very seriously and knows where’s she’s going.
Girl Next Door brought a contrasting image to table. These three ladies combine attitude with elegance in dresses and the kind of heels I would wear only if I was planning suicide.
Seriously, I can’t walk three steps in those things and here were GND, dancing in them as though they were ballet pumps. What’s the secret, anyone? Anyway, the songs were funky and full of fiery attitude. The girls were in perfect harmony, voices complimenting one another, totally in the flow.
On a theme of contrasting styles, let’s talk LeJaune Royer. LeJaune is one of the most eccentrically brilliant songwriters I’ve met. He doesn’t just play his guitar. He makes it come alive. Besides all this, he is the most chilled guy I’ve ever met. When not on stage, you’ll spot him in some shady corner or up in the sound booth, working some musical magic there. As usual, his set was flawless, the audience hushed, under the spell of a master of his craft.
LeJaune’s performance created a kind of slow motion dreamlike pause halfway through the evening. A pleasantly relaxed lull; a breather….
Before the pace was cranked up once more by another fine chick in towering heels.
Looking gorgeous in black ripped jeans and leopard print shirt Jessica Alice grooved to the catchy beats of her original dance tracks. Her performance was on point and pitch perfect.
Which brings us neatly to Sharlette HK. http://www.sharlettemusic.com
One of my favourite artists for so many reasons. I love to witness the pure joy she gets from singing, palpable in every performance.
Sharlette is an endlessly generous, shiny soul; both on and off stage, she gives life her absolute all. To me, this quality distinguishes her. She also happens to be real character. People naturally warm to her. It’s beautiful to see.
As for Ben Davis …… What can I say? What a way to end the night! All singing, all dancing, getting out into the crowd. Last time I saw Ben was at the CMP semi finals in April. I was impressed then, even though performing in a competition environment isn’t Ben’s preference. Who likes being judged?
Anyhow, now I was witnessing a young man entirely in his element and I was blown away.
Belting out catchy funky-pop songs, accompanked by an incredible guitarist and the most skilful cajon player I’ve ever seen, flanked by two dashing backing singers in short tight black dresses. Meet the touring trio officially known as “Ben Davis and The Bendettes!”
These two lovely girls compliment Ben perfectly, both vocally and in the image they bring to the show. The Bendettes are the cherries on top of the cake. They did it for me! A glance at my (male) friend’s glazed eyes indicated he thought so too…..
In fact he was so impressed he could hardly believe any of it.
“People pay hundreds of pounds for tickets to concerts and all of these guys are just as good…. Better even!”
He was quite ecstatic. Bless him!
So there you have it. Needless to say Sam The Hat did a superb job engineering everything. The venue, the performers, the sound. Without fail he delivers a smooth seamless show, and somehow makes it look effortless. Which it isn’t.
I guess it’s all Old Hat to Sam though…