StevieRay's Presents: Richard Blackwood and the Soul Caribbean Big Band - review

Published: Friday, October 4, 2013 3:04 PM | Review by: Ronke Lawal |
Members Soul Caribbean Big Band (c) Carl Broadcast ~ CTS Productions Members Soul Caribbean Big Band (c) Carl Broadhurst ~ CTS Productions

“The Shaka Zulu meal served as the perfect accompaniment to what was to be a fantastic evening”.

Set in the midst of the awe-inspiring surroundings of Shaka Zulu, The Soul Caribbean Soul Band had found a worthy home. Organised by the Stevie Ray Sessions on October 3, we were met both Ray and Stevie who introduced us to our entertainment for the evening. The world-renowned musician Kevin Robinson, Carleen Anderson, Zara McFarlane and our talented host Richard Blackwood graced our stage and we were treated to a short interactive Q & A session with the artists. As the band set up on stage we were able to experience the Shaka Zulu menu which I must say was a delight. I have been to Shaka Zulu a few times before but this was the best food I had tasted at the venue. With sumptuous crocodile "cigars" and crispy, well-seasoned lamb samosas to start and a rib eye steak cooked to perfection the meal served as the perfect accompaniment to what was to be a fantastic evening.


Carleen Anderson (right) (c) Carl Broadhurst ~ CTS Productions Carleen Anderson (right) (c) Carl Broadhurst ~ CTS Productions

The band treated the audience to Latin jazz, reggae soul fusion in an effortless expression of musical prowess.”

Kevin Robinson's conduction of the musical ensemble was nothing short of excellent; one felt the spirit and joy he derived from his art through the response from his band. The band treated the audience to Latin jazz, reggae soul fusion in an effortless expression of musical prowess. Particular credit must be given to drummer, Mark Dyer who performed an awesome drumming solo after a particularly high octave rendition of "I can see clearly now" by Carleen Anderson. Carleen's rendition of "Just my imagination" confirmed why she is still one of soul music's most talented vocalists. Her voice is a beautiful instrument, reflected through her vast vocal range. Zara McFarlane and Daniel Thomas performed a wonderful romantic rendition of "My Cherie Amour" which made the lovers in the audience smile. Daniel also did a superb rendition of "Many rivers to cross" which highlighted once again how much talent we have in the UK. Richard Blackwood was excellent as our host for the evening, presenting the right balance of humour, audience interaction and musical knowledge.


Soul Caribbean Big Band (c) Carl Broadcast ~ CTS Productions Soul Caribbean Big Band (c) Carl Broadhurst ~ CTS Productions

Soul Caribbean hit the right notes and moved the soul to a greater state of happiness in the city!”


We were up close and personal to the big band which made me feel like I was in an intimate bar in The Tropics, the ambience of Shaka Zulu certainly affirmed this feeling. The whole concept made me feel as though I was away from the hustle and bustle of London for a few hours, all around me were smiling faces, I made new friends, ate great food and most importantly experienced some superb musical performances. As the name suggests "Soul Caribbean" hit the right notes and moved the soul to a greater state of happiness in the city!


Info: Soul Caribbean is at Shaka Zulu, Stables Market, Chalk Farm Rd, London, NW1 8AB




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