30 October 2009

Marva Whitney live - Sat 14 November

Seems a real weekend for legendary female soul singers coming up in a fortnight, as James Brown's original funky diva Marva Whitney is to appear live at the 100 Club on Saturday 14th November as part of the Messin' Around club night. She will be backed by top Japanese funk band, Osaka Monaurail.

I saw Marva with the same band live at The Jazz Cafe in Camden a couple of years back and can tell you she was fantastic. Well worth catching - especially at this great, historic venue (far more atmospheric than The Jazz Cafe).

DJs on the night are Perry Louis, Adrian Gibson (Freestyle Records) and special guest DJ Pari from the USA.

As ever, there will also be a live performance by The JazzCotech Dancers.

Discounted entry is available via the Jazzcotech Dancers' guestlist, making admission £12 before 11pm and £6 thereafter. Text / contact Christiane on 07903 932 463 to get on the list.

Saturday 14th November
Messin' Around @ The 100 Club
100 Oxford Street, London, W1. (020) 7636 0933
7.30pm - 3am

27 October 2009

Ultimate Motown sessions: 9th-12th Nov

Ultimate Motown Sessions, 2009Following the announcement of the Divas of Motown concert coming up at the HMV Hammersmith Apollo on the 13th November, I have since found out that there will also be a string of intimate dates in the lead-up to the big event.

Jammin' with Jack at the Borderline:

9th November - A Funk Brothers night featuring Jack Ashford and special guests including including Nikki Lamborn & Margo Buchanan jamming the night away in a soul/funk spectacular.

The Borderline, Orange Yard, off Manette Street, London, W1D 4JL
Doors: 7pm. Tickets: £18.50

Motown Sessions at the Jazz Cafe:

10th November - The Funk Brothers featuring special guests Sherrie Payne and Lynda Laurence, formerly of The Supremes

11th November - The Funk Brothers featuring special guests Mable John, Chris Clark and Brenda Holloway

12th November - Thelma Houston and guests

The Jazz Cafe, 5 Parkway, Camden Town, London, NW1 7PG
Doors: 7pm. Tickets: £25 (10th & 11th Nov) / £20 (12th Nov)

Tickets for all of these shows are available from Ticketmaster. Book online at www.ticketmaster.co.uk or by phone on 0844 277 0700.

You can find out more about the artists from the following press release:

"One of the greatest female R&B singers of all time, Thelma Houston will give an intimate solo performance at the Jazz Cafe. The first Motown artist to win a Grammy, Houston received the award for best R&B performance by a female artist. On the eve of the release of a remix of her number 1 hit club anthem 'Don't Leave Me This Way', Houston is not only a true Motown legend but also an icon to the gay community as a disco diva. She recently headlined at Gay Pride New York and is a firm favourite on the club circuit as well as with connoisseurs of Motown's rosta.

"Motown's first recorded female artist Mable John is one of gospel music's luminaries. Discovered and groomed for stardom by Berry himself, she sang alongside Billie Holiday before eventually moving to Stax where her soul singer status was solidified by a career with the Raelettes - Ray Charles's backing singers. A fascinating character, Mable became Dr. Mable John when she earned her Ph.D in counselling.

"At first glance, young 17-year-old Chris Clark - a tall blue-eyed California import - seemed an unlikely candidate for membership in Detroit's closely-knit Motown family. Thanks to Gordy's renowned genius at spotting and developing raw talent, she went on to become not only the first White album artist on the label, but also an integral part of his creative team.

"Multi-award-winning R&B pioneer Brenda Holloway was one of few Motown artists to write her own songs which were tailored to her inimitable voice - gritty, powerful and sassy. Holloway toured the US with the Beatles in their heyday and has become one of the label's most distinguished female artists.

"Jack Ashford's legendary performances on the tambourine and vibes enhanced the majority of the Classic Motown hits from the 1960's through the early 1970's. As a member of the Funk Brothers Band, he played on more number one hits than the Beach Boys, the Rolling Stones, Elvis Presley and the Beatles combined. Also known as 'The Fabulous Tambourine Man' he is the remaining original member of the Funk Brothers Band.

"The Supremes are Motown's most successful female group. Their reign over the music charts was predominant throughout the 60s and 70s and earned them global accolades. The Supremes had eight individual members during this time and each of the eight ladies contributed to the group's recording and performing success. Sherrie Payne & Lynda Laurence are two former members of the Motown signed and recorded Supremes. Freddi Poole, who completes the trio, has toured extensively with the legendary Motown songstress Gladys Knight."

14 October 2009

Divas of Motown revue - Friday 13th November

Divas of Motown revue posterAn unbelievable line-up of 60s/70s soul talent comes together on Friday 13th November for a one-off show at The HMV Hammersmith Apollo.

Looking like a kind of dream Motortown Revue, the show features some of Motown's greatest female singers:

Brenda Holloway ("Every Little Bit Hurts", "When I'm Gone")
Mable John ("(I Guess There's) No Love")
Chris Clark ("Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)", "Love's Gone Bad")
Thelma Houston ("Jumpin' Jack Flash", "Don't Leave Me This Way")
Scherrie Payne & Lynda Laurence (members of The Supremes in the 70s)

All backed by the Funk Brothers band no less!

I'm not quite sure why Mable John is billed as having never played the UK before, when I saw her live at The Barbican a few years back as part of a Stax revue (and sadly wasn't too impressed by her that night I have to say), but I wouldn't miss this show if it were just Brenda Holloway or The Funk Brothers alone, so take my advice and grab yourself a ticket while they're still available!

www.hammersmithapollo.net / 08448 44 47 48

13 October 2009

A Swingin' Halloween All-Nighter

Swing Mon Amour flyerPlenty happening this Halloween, but if you're a fan of swing or rhythm & blues, then the place to be is Swing Mon Amour @ Charlotte St. Blues - a lovely, spacious, new venue with wooden floors.

There'll be hot swing from Top Shelf Jazz and I'll be on the decks alongside Tim's Jumpin' Jive (Hellzapoppin') to keep your bones shakin' till 4am to the sounds of r&b, jump blues, rock 'n' roll, swing and hot gypsy jazz from the 1920s-1950s.

So whether you're a Lindy Hopper, jiver, or just a lover of good old vintage music, come along and raise hell on the dancefloor!

Swing Mon Amour - All Night
@ Charlotte Street Blues, 74 Charlotte Street, London, W1T 4QH
Saturday 31st October. 11.30pm - 4am
£15 (£10 in advance)

I'll also be DJing at the weekly Swing Mon Amour Tuesday session on 20th October and admission is free. So if you fancy a mid-week dance or just want to check out the venue or get a taste for the sort of music I'll be playing on Halloween, why not pop by?

For full details of both nights, visit: www.johnjohnrecords.com/swingmonamour/

09 October 2009

Gene Drayton Unit live - Sat 10 Oct - FREE

Sorry for the short notice, but I just had to let you know that The Gene Drayton Unit (GDU) are playing a free gig at the lovely King's Head pub in Islington this Saturday 10th October.

Long-time London Dossier readers will know that I'm a big fan of this 60s-style Hammond combo and there's not much more I can say about them except: if you haven't seen them before, then do it now, as it won't even cost you a penny!

The King's Head is located at 115 Upper Street, N1 1QN (nearest tube: Angel). The music runs from 8pm until late but it may be worth getting down earlier if you want to try and get a table.

If you can't make it this weekend though, fear not, as they will also be playing at new live music based club night A Go-Go @ Peter Parkers Rock 'n' Roll Club on Thursday 12th November.

You can find out more about the band, view details of their upcoming gigs and listen to some of their music on their MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/genedraytonunit