Gig Review: T3M at Indigo2
By Reema Kumari Jadeja
Whoever said Gospel music is not just heard but felt knows exactly what they are talking about. A beautiful communion between music and belief, the sheer power and depth of Gospel invokes strong emotions in both singers and listeners alike. It is no coincidence that some of the leading names in the music industry began their careers singing Gospel. Whitney Houston, Beyoncé, Katy Perry and even Kings Of Leon, Gospel has shaped countless superstars and is now looking to enlighten secular mainstream UK audiences…
The three biggest names in UK Gospel recently came together for a seminal concert that could only be described as PHENOMENAL. The 3 Musketeers (T3M) Urban Music Award Winner Guvna B, MOBO award winner Victizzle and Cordless Show winner Faith Child, took the prestigious Indigo2 by storm and we at MOBO were there to witness history in the making.
The musical extravaganza saw Eddie Kadi as Master of Ceremonies. The acclaimed comedian lived up to the title and got the ball rolling with a strong contender for quote of the decade, “We’re going to turn ASBO kids into Haribo kids.” If they experienced what we experienced, Kadi is right. Chances are arson would be replaced with Amen and cool, contemporary Grime, Hip Hop and Funk infused Gospel tunes would be blasted out of cars with pride and a wicked B line bass.
The first performances of the epic night were from competition winners who won the chance to open including the youthful L4C and SOS, a sixteen member collective that blew us all away with a blistering set that reminded us about what traditional Gospel is all about- strong vocals, vocals, vocals.
(Egypt at TM3)
With a full live band, the wonderful Faith Child was the first Gospel musketeer to take the stage. After an energetic intro, he sang ‘I Like It’. The infectious ‘Holla at Me’ followed featuring rising star Miss Tai and Utter Once from GFORCE; and there was not a still body in the arena. ‘Unstoppable’ was performed followed by ‘Trade It All’ and the crowd was in its element. The Grime lyrical work of art ‘More Than Music’ saw the crowd go wild. The atmosphere was electric and had us up in VIP springing from our seats and busting moves. ‘First Place’ left us wanting more and we got it…
The poetic Victizzle took the stage and began with ‘My World’. The talented Lola Godheld joined the MC and producer on stage and sang her slamming debut single ‘Studio’. ‘AV’ was sung followed by the crowd favourite ‘Not Reaching’. ‘Jam Yourself,’ Victizzle’s first solo single put a smile on all our faces. There was a guitar driven musical interlude for a few minutes that heightened the emotion in the arena and we were all pumped for the next track ‘Can’t Take It’. The tempo slowed for the poignant ‘I Pray’ that was sung by many and had us swaying and even a tad misty-eyed. The theatrical ‘Scenario’ put things in perspective and was followed by ‘Life’. The audience was enthralled and the eve continued with the fabulous Guvna B.
The third musketeer took the stage and pushed the tempo with his signatory track ‘Standard’. The MC got a massive response from the crowd and invitees behind us were dancing like Duracell bunnies as were we! The remix of ‘Pass Out’ followed with its interesting contemporary twist on Gospel. The mellow ‘Looking Out the Window’ preceded ‘New Jerusalem’ with songstress Rachel Kerr gracing the stage. After an introduction to the song, Guvna B performed ‘I Need You’ with the fabulous Cynthia Erivo. The humble conversation with the Almighty was a track that truly brought out the essence of contemporary Gospel. 21st century lyrics married with traditional Gospel overtures, the track had us feeling spiritually connected and empowered. ‘Can’t Give Up Now’ followed and as we sat and introspected, soaking up all we had seen and heard, the lull was short-lived with the up tempo collaborations that ensued.
Nick Brewer took the stage as did Cadet who performed ‘Realise’ The highlight was definitely the anthem- ‘Kingdom Skank’ that had everyone and we mean everyone two-stepping and showcasing some of that UK swagger. A Soca inspired track and dance off later, ‘Echo’ was performed to the absolute delight of the crowd.
The show ended on an exalted, euphoric note. We were uplifted, on a high from music that truly felt good for the soul. T3M and the talented supporting singers, musicians and dancers entertained and enlightened us. We witnessed UK Gospel at its very best and audiences were jubilant.
A host of UK’s finest artists attended the path-breaking event including Kele Le Roc, Cherri V, Marvell, Dotstar, Caspian and X Factor finalist Beverly Trotman. The guests were excitedly reflecting over the three hour musical extravaganza backstage. Songstress Egypt described the eve as, “Exceptional, Guvna B, Victizzle and Faith Child were absolutely amazing and the guest singers blew me away!”
We caught up with ‘Adulthood’ star, actor and Urban Music Award recipient Arnold ‘Snakeyman’ Oceng who thoroughly enjoyed the performance, “It was just phenomenal to see a lot of the young people out there knowing all the words. I loved it being a Christian. I’m proud of the guys and proud to see how the scene is progressing.” Oceng spoke of what the future holds for him and fans can expect to see him in an urban comedy entitled ‘Another Hood’ and British film ‘Victim’ next year.
(Kele Le Roc at TM3)
Continuing to talk with invitees, Serene mused, “Good night, good energy, I’m really proud of the guys.” The UK Gospel old-timer has a mixtape out on 1st November, 2010 called ‘Different Strokes’. Guest performers Nick Brewer and Cadet were very happy at how the gig went. Lola Godheld enjoyed performing and described the experience as “Phenomenal and eclectic. Award winning MC Jahaziel and soon to be record label owner summed the show as being “Fantastic!” He felt Gospel was growing, spilling into different areas becoming “More accessible.”
“Amazing! It’s another world…” said lead singer/guitarist Laura Julius from up and coming Folk/Rock collective Solebound.
T3M were visibly chuffed with the show. Stopping to talk amidst the media frenzy, Victizzle felt the O2 gig was “Historical, never been done before.”
“Extraordinary! UK Gospel at its finest, unbelievable, unthinkable. I’m so happy,” beamed Faith Child. “We’re doing music that is accessible featuring our beliefs. Ten years from now, Gospel will be up there, very well established at industry standards.”
He further added, “It would of gained recognition and support from the mainstream.”
Guvna B reflected, “I’m very satisfied with the whole Gospel scene coming together.”
British award winning saxophonist and composer Yolanda Brown was ecstatic, “The show was energetic, full of amazing artistry and it is a big step forward. The music is positive, uplifting, good for your soul.” Brown who herself, is playing at the O2 in November could not of been more accurate.
Performances were off the Richter scale. The explosive musical extravaganza was mind blowing and no one walked away that eve feeling anything less than exuberated. Profoundly spiritual in a palatable way, the concert was a beautiful reminder of the power of faith and the might of positive music. We now wait with abated breath for UK Gospel to make its indelible mark in the mainstream and there is no doubt it triumphantly shall. Hallelujah to that!
Reema Kumari Jadeja ©