Thursday, 30 April 2009

Can't Get it Out of My Head: Bonkers By Dizzee

Okay, so he may have messed up slightly with Obama-gate on that cold November night, but there is something about Dizzee Rascal that I find quite endearing. I think it’s the personal growth. Comparing the shy, inaudible, awkward teen that he was when he released his debut album ‘Boy in Da Corner‘ (which was a wicked album by the way), to the jokey, jovial, media friendly man that he has become today, just brings a smile to my face. Check out the video to his new Armand Van Helden single Bonkers, which is as it says on the can - kinda bonkers. The video is so ‘Aceeeed - Summer of Love 1992’ - loves it. 

Get to Know: Lenora Crichlow

We’ve seen her on Sugar Rush and most recently Being Human, and now talented young actress, Lenora Crichlow is set to star in the forthcoming BBC drama Material Girl. Based on the bestselling book ‘Fashion Babylon’ written by Imogen Edwards-Jones, learn more about the show on the fabulous The Musings of Ondo Lady - one of my daily blog fixes. Click here to read.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Tinchy Stryder feat N-Dubz are... No.1

I don't really pay much attention to the pop charts now that Top of the Pops has kicked the bucket (RIP). However, my interest was sparked  yesterday when I heard that Tinchy Stryder's track Number 1, featuring... wait for it... N-Dubz has now topped the charts. Mmm, guys, are you really trying to tell me this is the biggest song in the country right now? Seriously? Now I'm truly beginning to believe that my theory about N-Dubz is true.  But credit where it's due. Congrats Mr Stryder man. 

Raphael Live in London

I had the pleasure of seeing the legendary Rapheal Saadiq in concert last night, and all I can say is wow wow wow! What a singer. What a performer. What a musician. Despite the puce clouds, torrential downpour and lukewarm reception from the audience (seriously, why do people part with their hard earned cash just to stand with their hands in their pockets looking as if they'd rather be indoors watching Holby City?), my guy stood on stage for just under two hours and gave it his all. Sweat, funk, heart, guts: the lot. My only critique would be he took too long to get to the material that most of the crowd were waiting for - namely the Tony Toni Tone & Lucy Pearl stuff. For the most part he performed a lot of material from his new album ‘The Way I See It’, which if you’ve heard the lead single ‘Love That Girl, you will know is deeply inspired by the sound of Motown. And indeed it felt very much like an old skool Motown revue. The band were decked in black suits with white shirts and skinny ties. Raphael was rocking a banana yellow suit with white shirt and black nerdy glasses - tress cool. There were hand claps, foot stomps and Temptations inspired dance moves for extra effect. Dude truly went all out. But as much as I love Motown, and you know I love Motown, an hour or so into the show I had had enough. And so had the rest of the audience judging from the lacklustre response bestowed upon the talented showman. But after hearing classics like Anniversary (choon) Just Me & U (bigger choon) and It Never Rains (in Southern California) (immense), I was in my element. But the crowd still remained unmoved (SMH while KMT).

Estelle is Welcomed in Jamrock

Queen of quirk, Estelle, graces the cover of the latest issue of JAMROCK magazine. I first heard of this mag a couple of years ago but have yet to see it here in the UK. From what I can deciper it's a lifestyle mag that is similar to Vibe magazine, but focuses on issues of interest to Caribbean Americans. Nice concept. And isn't this a great look for Ms Swaray? Loving the sophisticated jazzy chaunteuse vibe. 

Friday, 24 April 2009

Give A Lil' Love

Has anybody been watching American Idol? I’ve been a reluctant customer this season (are you really telling me that’s the best talent they could find throughout the whole of America?), but as there’s not much happening telly wise on a Friday night, then hey, why not? Now tell me... Lil’ Rounds. Did she deserve to get voted off? Admittedly she’s made some dire song choices throughout the competition, but I thought she kinda brought home with the Chaka classic tonight, no? No one can deny that lil’ lady has one set of pipes. 

Slight digression, but how great was it to see Paula choreograph a dance routine on the results show? I actually forgot that she was the dogs bollocks of the dance world back in the day, and she’s not just some mumbling, bumbling, eccentric old Auntie type who landed the hottest gig on US TV by chance occurrence. To reacquaint you with the old Abdul fabulousness here’s a vintage vid for you. This track came out around the time I fancied myself as a bit of dancer/choreographer type, so best believe I’m sitting here wanting to get my Lydia Grant on. 

Monday, 20 April 2009

What's the Word?

I rolled through my favourite concert venue, the Indig02 in Greenwich, on Saturday to see the legendary funk outfit Cameo. The group came to prominence in the mid 80’s with hits such as ‘Word Up’ and ‘Single Life’, before slipping into obscurity during the 90’s. I was still a schooler when the group were at the height of their fame, so it was great to see them live in the flesh all these years later. Believe me when I say they haven’t lost any of their edge, eccentricity or stage magnetism. And you’ll also be delighted to know that front-man Larry Blackmon is still rocking the fire engine red cod piece! My guy was whinning his hips with so much vigour that I had to turn my head on several ocassions because the moves looked obscene. No surprise that the highlight of the night was when they performed ‘Candy’. Anyone who has frequented RnB clubs in recent years will be familiar with the Candy Dance which was featured in the African American rom com, The Best Man. Picture a thousand plus revellers trying to perform this repetitive routine in synchronisation. Pure jokes! The night was topped off with an after party featuring back to back soul classics from the 80’s and early 90’s. I saw so many old faces from my primary and secondary school that I felt as if I had stepped back in time. All I kept thinking was ‘wow, I wonder what so and so has been doing over the last 20 years?’. A very surreal and reflective night, but a feelgood one nonetheless. Word! 

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

New Sounds: Laura Izibor

Dublin based songstress, Laura Izibor, releases 'Don't Stay' the new single from her forthcoming album 'Let The Truth Be Told'. Have you checked out Laura's music yet?  ( If you are into heart warming old school soul with lyrics from an artist who digs deep, then this will be right up your street. There are only 1o tracks too, which is the perfect number for me  (don't you hate those 22 + track albums with multiple interludes and such nonsense?) Vocally Laura sounds like a blend of Lauryn Hill, Jill Scott, and dare I say it - errm, Joss Stone. But don't hold it against her. Check out the promo for the song. The album is out on May 15th.

Monday, 6 April 2009

BBC's 1-Xtra Celebrates 30 Years of Hip Hop

The Beeb's black music radio station, 1-Xtra celebrated 30 years of hip hop with a special show featuring the UK's home-grown talent doing renditions of famous US hip hop tracks. Ms Dynamite took on Lauryn Hill, Roll Deep performed a Wu Tang track, and Chipmunk performed the Sugar Hill Gang classic Rappers Delight. Check it out! 

Friday, 3 April 2009

Bringing Intelligence Back

Adieu President Obama & Michelle O! It was so nice to have you here. Jeez, what a whirlwind couple of days. But did we really expect anything else from the most powerful couple in the world? Michelle’s visit to the north London comprehensive school was the highlight for me. Can you imagine how super excited the pupils at Elizabeth Garrett Anderson school must have been when they realised that the surprise guest scheduled to speak at their school was none other than America’s First Lady? It’s the kind of 'moment' that will stick with you for life, right? I remember when one of the Capital Radio DJ’s rolled into our primary school back in the day, it was absolute pandemonium. Yeah, I know, doesn’t really compare does it, but you catch my drift. Michelle’s speech was moving to say the least. Just watching her clap excitedly while watching the young singer, or choke up while reading her emotive speech really set me up for the day. My favourite quotes:

“I never cut class. I loved getting A’s, I liked being smart. I liked being on time. I thought being smart is cooler than anything in the world. You, too, with these values, can control your own destiny. You, too, can pave the way.”  

"Whether you come from a council estate or a country estate, your success will be determined by your own confidence and fortitude."

“For nothing in my life ever would have predicted that I would be standing here as the first African-American First Lady. I was not raised with wealth or resources or any social standing to speak of. I was raised on the South Side of Chicago — that’s the real part of Chicago.” 

I just love how the Obama's are bringing talent, tenacity and intelligence back into the public domain. Vapid & talentless ‘celebrities’ must be O’ding on their anxiety pills right about now.

A clip from the visit 

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Beenie Wants A Taste of Love

Who knew that fallen rapper Flavour Flav could exert such powers of influence over his music industry peers. As atrocious as his reality show is, Flavour of Love, continues to somehow inspire others with Beenie Man being the latest star to jump on the dating show bandwagon. According to Overgroundonline, the reggae DJ is gearing up to film a pilot for his reality show tipped to be titled Girls Dem Sugar. This sounds bad. I mean, really bad. My eyes are already bleeding just conjuring the mental image of a bunch of purple headed weave-a-holic dancehall queens performing x-rated handstands in the hope of becoming Beenie's Suga. Ewww! 


Tonight I Had To: Turn My Sound Down Low

In case you're still recovering from American Idol contestant Megan Joy, totally desecrating Bob's 'Turn Your Lights Down Low'. Here's the far superior version from daughter in law, Lauryn Hill. There, there, you can relax now folks...

About Me

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I am a thirty-something African Caribbean female from South East London. My blog will shine a light on Black British culture offering the best in entertainment, fashion, beauty, community, film & music, with the occasional personal musing thrown in from yours truly. Thank you for taking out the time to peek into the pages of my diary. Now grab a cup of cocoa, relax and enjoy.