Sunday, June 4, 2006

Musical Interlude...

I spent yesterday evening in Digbeth, Birmingham watching a variety of female music acts under the auspices of the WomenInMusic festival. Unfortunately the PR for the festival must've been pretty weak as the event was sparsely attended, which was very disappointing considering the high standard of acts that were on show. At the South Birmingham College venue, I saw 3 acts in particular that were very strong, namely reggaebaby herself, Jean Mclean, guitarist-singer Nina McCann and roots artist Aisha.

Jean Mclean did a short set of songs from her self-produced CD, I'm A Reggaebaby, which you can hear on her own website at: http://www.reggaebaby.com. Jean is a very talented, soulful singer who mixes roots with lover's rock to produce a very pleasant vibe. She's currently looking to put together her own band to get out there to do her 'ting - I hope she's successful. Acoustic singer Nina McCann travelled up from Hampshire and did two short sets of her own compositions from her debut CD, Leave The Room, which you can hear on her website at: http://www.ninamccann.co.uk. I really enjoyed her delivery and I'll definitely get a copy of her CD. Last but not least, Aisha completed the acts performing at the College and boy can this lady sing. She's an established roots reggae artist on the Ariwa label and its clear to see why with a very accomplished performance, full of confidence and with a superb voice. She closed her set with the track Ebony Eyes from her latest CD release, There Is More To Life. Aisha is definitely worth checking out if you get the chance.

The late night After Show party at the Irish Club attracted a larger audience but the technical staff struggled throughout and just two of the scheduled acts were able to perform. Nearly two hours later than expected, Shaz Akira and her band wowed the audience including her own Sister Tree supporters club with her full-on delivery. Closing the day's proceedings was one of my favourite singers Yaz Alexander, accompanied by two new backing singers Anne-Marie and Emma B, who gave us This World, Don't Trust Love and I. Under trying circumstances, Yaz came up trumps, with the show closing just past midnight. At the bar, I met Steve Morrison, better known as the frontman of the band Reggae Revolution and who's guested on a couple of Steel Pulse albums. It was a rare moment of R&R for the lead singer-cum-trombone player, who's been on tour with Apache Indian recently.

Here's a photo of Yaz Alexander with the author - Yaz is the attractive one! Her next gig is at a reggae festival in northern Italy on 24 June. Unfortuntely I can't make that gig Yaz! :

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