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Issue 1084

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Leela James: Pigalle 29/07/10

Leela James: Pigalle 29/07/10 copyright@bluesandsoul.com
Leela James: Pigalle 29/07/10 copyright@bluesandsoul.com Leela James: Pigalle 29/07/10 copyright@bluesandsoul.com Leela James: Pigalle 29/07/10 copyright@bluesandsoul.com Leela James: Pigalle 29/07/10 copyright@bluesandsoul.com Leela James: Pigalle 29/07/10 copyright@bluesandsoul.com Leela James: Pigalle 29/07/10 copyright@bluesandsoul.com Leela James: Pigalle 29/07/10 copyright@bluesandsoul.com Leela James: Pigalle 29/07/10 copyright@bluesandsoul.com Leela James: Pigalle 29/07/10 copyright@bluesandsoul.com Leela James: Pigalle 29/07/10 copyright@bluesandsoul.com Leela James: Pigalle 29/07/10 copyright@bluesandsoul.com Leela James: Pigalle 29/07/10 copyright@bluesandsoul.com Leela James: Pigalle 29/07/10 copyright@bluesandsoul.com Leela James: Pigalle 29/07/10 copyright@bluesandsoul.com Leela James: Pigalle 29/07/10 copyright@bluesandsoul.com Leela James: Pigalle 29/07/10 copyright@bluesandsoul.com Leela James: Pigalle 29/07/10 copyright@bluesandsoul.com Leela James: Pigalle 29/07/10 copyright@bluesandsoul.com Leela James: Pigalle 29/07/10 copyright@bluesandsoul.com

Aint no party like a Leela James Party

Her speaking voice is like that of a girl in their teens, but her hair is as big and wild as a lion’s mane. She was raised on gospel music, but when her microphone stand is not up to scratch she is not afraid to launch into in a verbal tirade full of expletives to get some action from organisers. She may look as sweet and delicate as a flower, but dear reader when Leela James opened her mouth to sing at her recent show at Pigalle Club she made time stand still. Filling out the small and intimate club, “tonight is the night, we gonna have a good time, lets just have a good time” was the opening line to her first song 'Good Time', and that was definitely Leela’s intention. There was no need to wait for her vocal chords to warm up, Leela was ready to go, and bring the crowd with her, and I mean that literally.

Firstly we were all encouraged to move right up to the stage, then one lucky fan was pulled up on stage to dance with her not once but twice, before she jumped off stage to dance with some fans, and if that wasn’t enough later on she had eleven fans up on the tiny stage dancing with her too. In London to promote her new album 'My Soul', Leela performed 'Party All Night', 'I Want It All' and her next single 'Tell Me You Love Me' to the crowds appreciation and encouragement.

Leela is clearly one who likes to interact and feed on the energy of her fans, for this reason there was clear frustration by the star when her vocals were being drowned out by the instruments even after her microphone was changed. To be honest even after the sound engineer made some adjustments, there was still room for improvement and the crowd only got 90% of the power vocals that Leela has. Additionally given the catalogue of material that Leela has I was slightly disappointed that she performed extended versions of at least 3 songs, each going up to 10 minutes long, which could have been an ideal opportunity to sing so many other songs that the crowds were requesting throughout the night. That aside, the longer sessions did give Leela the chance display her dancing skills, as she worked the stage.

Songs from debut album 'A Change Is Gonna Come' pleased the crowds equally as much as songs from the current album. It was clear that people in attendance were genuine fans having a good time, whether it was the banter that took place between songs, or the way they sang along to songs like 'My Joy', 'Music', and 'It’s Alright'. Leela’s band was tight and completed her mood, each channelling as much energy as Leela despite one member receiving tragic news earlier that evening. When Leela shared this information before launching into 'A Change Is Going To Come' the crowd united in singing along to the soul classic as a pain reliever. There is no doubt that Leela can sing, and showcases like this enable her to display her raw talent. This is real music; and Leela is a real soul star.

Photos care of B&S' Romain Kedochim - More visit ROMAIN PHOTOGRAPHY
Words Richard 'Ricardito' Ashie

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