Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1089

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Live

Faith Evans: Indigo, O2, London 22/7/18

Faith Evans: Indigo, O2, London 22/7/18 @bluesandsoul.com
Faith Evans: Indigo, O2, London 22/7/18 @bluesandsoul.com Faith Evans: Indigo, O2, London 22/7/18 @bluesandsoul.com Faith Evans: Indigo, O2, London 22/7/18 @bluesandsoul.com Faith Evans: Indigo, O2, London 22/7/18 @bluesandsoul.com Faith Evans: Indigo, O2, London 22/7/18 @bluesandsoul.com Faith Evans: Indigo, O2, London 22/7/18 @bluesandsoul.com Faith Evans: Indigo, O2, London 22/7/18 @bluesandsoul.com Faith Evans: Indigo, O2, London 22/7/18 @bluesandsoul.com Faith Evans: Indigo, O2, London 22/7/18 @bluesandsoul.com Faith Evans: Indigo, O2, London 22/7/18 @bluesandsoul.com Faith Evans: Indigo, O2, London 22/7/18 @bluesandsoul.com Faith Evans: Indigo, O2, London 22/7/18 @bluesandsoul.com Faith Evans: Indigo, O2, London 22/7/18 @bluesandsoul.com Faith Evans: Indigo, O2, London 22/7/18 @bluesandsoul.com

When Faith Evans released an album of collaborations with her late husband, Biggie Smalls, earlier this year, my expectations weren't high. Since his death in 1997, his material has been picked over numerous times, with mixed results. But against the odds, Evans delivered a package that's well worth a listen.

So when she announced UK shows to promote the album, aptly named "The King & I", a lot of people took notice... This was evident in the large crowd that filled the Indigo at the O2 in London.

Although she took on the moniker of hip-hop's First Lady and found herself at the heart of the beef between Biggie and 2Pac, it's easy to forget that she's a celebrated artist in her own right.

Back in the 90s she produced platinum record after platinum record and became one of the big voices of the hip-hop/r'n'b golden age. And her love for what she does hasn't diminished.

"Burnin' Up" and "All Night Long" got the show underway, and she showed that her voice is still as good as it ever was - Evans really can sing.

"You Used To Love Me" demonstrated her excellent vocal range, channeling the emotion that propelled her to fame more than two decades ago.

There was an unexpected interlude when Lil Cease, former Biggie collaborator and member of Junior MAFIA, appeared onstage.

Even after all these years, "Get Money" and "Player's Anthem" sound fresh and his appearance went down well with the crowd.

It was then down to Evans to bring proceedings to a triumphant finish, with "Mesmerised" and "Love Like This" finishing the set.

I didn't know what to expect when I arrived, but there was no doubt as the crowd dispersed into the summer night that Evans still has the voice that can awe an audience.

She's well worth catching live.

PHOTOS: DAVE BURKE
Words Dave Burke

From Jazz Funk & Fusion To Acid Jazz

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