Brazilian Gospel vs British Gospel

Just in case you had not noticed we are at the start of one of the planets biggest sporting events, the FIFA Football World cup.

This year, the competition will be held at the spiritual home of the games, hosted by the greatest team on earth, Brazil. No pressure there for the national squad.

During the research for my book British Black Gospel, I came across a very interesting piece of information.

It is an economic fact that Brazil is one of the fastest growing economies on the globe. What is equally amazing is that within its domestic music world, Gospel music is a rapidly growing genre. There are a number of reasons for this, which I may expand on one day. British Gospel on the other hand, if you pardon the soccer analogy, is still trapped in the lower regions of the UK music business league table…but not in the relegation zone.

We have 3 strikers up front who are gifted, talented and dedicated to their genre by faith and profession. Noel Robinson, Lurine Cato and Tyndale Thomas are the three most likely individuals to take British Gospel to new heights in the UK, and possibly beyond….who knows, Promotion to the Premiership by way of global distribution of their work or a major record deal.

Lurine Cato

The very beautiful and talented Cato was winner of last years 18th MOBO Awards for Gospel and her acceptance speech was an all time classic from the heart and soul. A must view on Youtube. Her sister Marlene manages her career and the team are on the verge of releasing her debut album. The huge underground gospel community awaits this album like a cracked and dry desert ground needs rain. She is causing quite a stir in Italy, particularly since her MOBO win. Lurine supports Arsenal by the way…maybe she can add her MOBO Award to their growing trophy cabinet.

Noel Robinson

Liverpool FC supporter Noel Robinson is a journeyman and highly respected in the British Gospel community and beyond. A child guitar prodigy he was raised in the emotionally charged black Pentecostal church but his music has evolved into a rainbow mix of sounds that appeals to a cross-cultural audience. He is featured in the book British Black Gospel commanding a position as one of the leading pioneers in the UK.

Robinson’s latest album is entitled Devoted and he tours on a regular basis. Nominated for 3 MOBO Awards in the past but not a winner, perhaps this year with an impressive workload behind him he could take the current title from Queen of British Gospel Lurine Cato and declare himself King.

The great man says about his latest album:

“Devoted is an album best describe as a snap shot of themes that have played on my life over the past few years. It's the journey of a worshipper and how the message of the Gospel becomes central in Restoring and renewing passion and direction to life. Living a life totally Devoted to Jesus in every aspect of that Journey is the back drop to the story and the music and lyrics echo the position of the heart.. From the 60's infused rhythms of Freedom to the need for Affirmation 'you loved me unconditionally' the reggae anthem of 'We cry Hossana' and Rock driven 'We cry Holy' and the Global hit 'Rain' adds to this eclectic album that most certainly will have your soul singing”.

Noel Robinson's *new* album "Devoted" is available NOW on iTunes and

Tyndale Thomas

Tyndale Thomas is not a name you will hear in the Southern parts of the London centric Gospel media spotlight. Thomas is based in Manchester and is special as he holds an award that eludes every other artist of his genre and generation. Tyndale Thomas may not have won or even to my memory received a nomination for a Mobo but he is the only person in the history of British music to hold an MBE for Gospel. Check out his remarkable story in British Black Gospel. Forgive my Northern bias but speaking as a Huddersfield-Born lad there is a massive reservoir of gospel talent north of Watford.

Over the years Thomas has dug out a niche for his music in Germany but his latest home based project is exciting and as given birth to the limited edition album Gateway to Sanctuary.

Under his direction a multi-cultural choir of 150 members from Liverpool, Preston and Manchester were bought together to work on a live recorded CD and DVD at Manchester Cathedral. Thomas and his team wrote and arranged most of the songs apart from classic covers by Legendary American artists Andrae Crouch and Edwin Hawkins (Oh Happy Day).

The musically eclectic album will be supplied to prisoners and Manchester United supporter and Executive Producer Thomas explains;

“This is a great opportunity for people from diverse cultural backgrounds. It will give comfort, healing, strength and resolve for prisoners and their families”.

The Thomas camp are in search of a mainstream distributor and record label, can anybody help with this socially conscious album? Contact

Check out these artists and perhaps while you are enjoying the world cup listen to a few of their inspirational songs. Perhaps one day the rapidly emerging Gospel music market in Brazil will invite and embrace Lurine Cato, Noel Robinson and Tyndale Thomas.

Ok, back to the footie….oh no, the fridge is empty!!!


Steve Alexander Smith (Author: British Black Gospel)