Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1084

Welcome to B&S

BRINGING YOU THE STORIES BEHIND MUSIC + ESSENTIAL NEWS, REVIEWS AND INTERVIEWS...

Live

Eric Benét: Electric Brixton, London 26/10/17

Eric Benét: Electric Brixton, London 26/10/17 @bluesandsoul.com
Eric Benét: Electric Brixton, London 26/10/17 @bluesandsoul.com Eric Benét: Electric Brixton, London 26/10/17 @bluesandsoul.com Eric Benét and Omar: Electric Brixton, London 26/10/17 @bluesandsoul.com Eric Benét: Electric Brixton, London 26/10/17 @bluesandsoul.com Eric Benét: Electric Brixton, London 26/10/17 @bluesandsoul.com Eric Benét: Electric Brixton, London 26/10/17 @bluesandsoul.com Eric Benét: Electric Brixton, London 26/10/17 @bluesandsoul.com Eric Benét: Electric Brixton, London 26/10/17 @bluesandsoul.com Eric Benét: Electric Brixton, London 26/10/17 @bluesandsoul.com Eric Benét: Electric Brixton, London 26/10/17 @bluesandsoul.com Eric Benét: Electric Brixton, London 26/10/17 @bluesandsoul.com Eric Benét: Electric Brixton, London 26/10/17 @bluesandsoul.com Eric Benét: Electric Brixton, London 26/10/17 @bluesandsoul.com Eric Benét: Electric Brixton, London 26/10/17 @bluesandsoul.com Eric Benét: Electric Brixton, London 26/10/17 @bluesandsoul.com Eric Benét: Electric Brixton, London 26/10/17 @bluesandsoul.com Eric Benét: Electric Brixton, London 26/10/17 @bluesandsoul.com Eric Benét: Electric Brixton, London 26/10/17 @bluesandsoul.com Eric Benét: Electric Brixton, London 26/10/17 @bluesandsoul.com

It's fair to say that Eric Benét has found a new surge of fame recently, even if it's not for the reasons he'd like... The soul singer was referenced by Jay-Z on the rapper's "4:44" album, when Hov brought up Benét's alleged infidelity with ex-wife Halle Berry. To go Eric Benét, Jay-Z informed listeners, is to "let the baddest girl in the world get away", and the hip-hop don warned: "Don't go Eric Benét".

In response, Benét quipped about the rapper owing him royalties, but no doubt hoped the reference - however cold-heatedly delivered - could prove advantageous.

It's hard to believe it's been 21 years since the singer's debut LP "True To Myself" dropped.

In the heady days of 1996, it was one of the stand-out records in a golden age for the neo-soul movement.

Appearances by Benét are few and far between on these shores, so it was no surprise that Electric Brixton in south London was packed to the rafters.

It was the perfect setting for the smooth-as-silk soul man, with the venue's excellent acoustics allowing him to show off his stunning vocal range.

Wearing sunglasses, a cravat and a fedora, the 51-year-old was coolness personified as he took to the stage.

The show was on the eve of the release of his latest album, simply called "Eric Benét".

The album proves he can still pack a punch, and over the course of his 90-minute set, Benét set about proving he has lost none of the magic that propelled him to fame.

"Let's Stay Together" and "Spiritual Thang" still sound as luscious as they did two decades ago, and newer tracks including "Sunshine" sat well as Benét mixed it up.

"Spend My Life With You" was delivered with passion and emotion, and it was obvious that Benét still relishes performing in front of a crowd.
It's no secret that he's drawn inspiration from Prince over the years, and his faultless falsetto showed that Benét is no pretender.

A stripped-down tribute to the superstar was followed by a duet with British soul singer Omar. Such is the esteem in which the Londoner is held that so far this year I've seen him perform alongside Erykah Badu, the Robert Glasper Experiment and Benét.

Both vocalists complemented each other perfectly, and the show seemed to fly by.

Finishing in (yet more) style, Benét gave the ever-appreciative audience exactly what they wanted as he dropped classy, latin-infused soul anthem "When You follow Me" and rounded off proceedings perfectly with classic sing-a-long swayer, "George Porgy". Tonight's mission to deliver a show full of class, swagger, style and all-out showmanship was now complete.

"To do an Eric Benét" may not have been the kindest reference when it came from Jay-Z's lips, but with the singer still going strong, doing an Eric Benét doesn't seem like such a bad thing.
Words Dave Burke

From Jazz Funk & Fusion To Acid Jazz

Join the B&S Mailing List

Blues and Soul on Twitter