City Link-Up Unsigned at The Music Cafe
Artists appearing on tonight’s show:
Sarah Bird and her band
The Music Cafe hosted this month’s show produced by City Link-Up Unsigned, whose leading light Cyrlene Braithwait told the audience about a collaboration with the Glastonbudget festival, for whom they had put on a gig recently in Harrow and from which some of the artists might get selected to play at the 2014 festival, “… but we won’t know that until December”, she told the audience.
One of the reasons these shows happens is to raise money for the African Caribbean Leukmia Trust (ACLT) which promotes bone marrow and blood donation – find out more about the ACLT.
Watch videos from this show, by Kevin Gaughan (coming soon)
The wonderful Tanni Browne opened the show, as he has done so on many occasions in the past, and what a good job he did of warming up the audience and getting the vibes vibrating round the room. Departing from his usual celebration of Bob Marley, the Leicester singer began with a song celebrating the life of Jamaican politician Marcus Garvey. It’s worth mentioning that at this time Leicester, in common with the rest of the UK, was in the middle of Black History Month.
The first band of the evening was The Issue, usually they perform as a full band but tonight they were on stage with a singer and a keyboard player. A lively and impressive performance from the band drew enthusiastic acclaim from the audience.
Wendy Christian came to the stage with her guitarist to enthrall the room with her amazing blues songs. Having been off the live circuit for a long time, it is worth noting that Wendy is one of the artists featured in the recently documentary film Spectrum, which documents 40 years of Black music in Leicester. Seeing Wending singing on stage was both a thrill and a privilege, given her prestigious career over the years. A few days after this performance, Wendy was a special live guest on Takeover Radio’s show, Made in Leicester.
You can watch a film of Wendy Christian singing her song Reality at The Donkey (2011) with which she opened her set tonight.
Someone I had seen many times before (but not recently) was Leicester singer Sarah Bird, who brought her band to the stage to get feet tapping and heads nodding with a lively set-list led by the fulsome vocals of Sarah herself.
Selena Cole opened her set with a song by Frank Ocean Thinking About You, following it up by a number from Jazmine Sullivan.
An artist I had seen before, who had impressed the first time round, was Peter Hinds, who sang a song – Gabrielle – by Leicester singer and song writer Cameron Hinds, who sadly passed in 2007 (a picture of whom can be seen on the web site of Anthony Benjamin.) Peter joined Wendy Christian, accompanying her on guitar, for a magical moment of music as these two great artists performed together on stage tonight.
Spoken word artist Nzinka recited a selection of her poems. Her set of poems were full of engaging words and phrases and captivating images.
The evening closed with a set of songs sung by Leicester’s singer and songwriter Calvin Jeffrey, a well-known artist who had for several years been supporting the local music and benefiting it with his fine body of work.
The next City Link-up Unsigned show takes place at the Music Cafe on Thursday 28th November.
A selection of photos of artist performing at tonight’s show can be viewed on the Leicestershire Music website.