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Issue 1084

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Brandy: Indig02 07/05/09

Brandy: Indig02 07/05/09
Brandy: Indig02 07/05/09 Brandy: Indig02 07/05/09 Brandy: Indig02 07/05/09 Brandy: Indig02 07/05/09 Brandy: Indig02 07/05/09 Brandy: Indig02 07/05/09 Brandy: Indig02 07/05/09 Brandy: Indig02 07/05/09 Brandy: Indig02 07/05/09 Brandy: Indig02 07/05/09 Brandy: Indig02 07/05/09 Brandy: Indig02 07/05/09 Brandy: Indig02 07/05/09 Brandy: Indig02 07/05/09

As Brandy herself has pointed out it has been some 4 years since she last performed in England, and the R n B landscape looks a little different since then. Destinyâs Childâs at the end of their tenure as the genreâs leading female modern Rn'B artists, were portraying a stronger more independent style.

Since then, artists like Beyoncé and Rihanna from the US have taken this element on and added a touch of feistiness to the performance mix. The softer side of Rn'B appears at present to be the preserve of the boys and particularly the British boys with the likes of artists such as Ne-Yo and Lemar. So for Brandy, who has traditionally been regarded as clean cut, it was always going to be interesting to see which her way performed veered. In the end, in a concert that was long on quality but disappointingly short on time, there proved to be a third way - in the form of a surprising depth of musical and lyrical intensity.

The new live version of 2008 album 'Human' showed a level of assuredness not seen in previous work and the musicality bordered on gospel in style. But before we reached that point in the concert, Brandy ran through the greatest of her hits. After a lengthy instrumental preamble from the band at the start of the concert, Brandy set right the tone prancing from one side of the stage to another with a deliciously devilish grin while enchanting the modeslyt sized audience with the aptly named 'Aphrodisiac' and also performing a series of robotic movements. The atmosphere at Indigo2 continued to warm up with mass hand waving for 'What About Us' and the track 'Full Moon' gave us a delicious thumping bass rhythm. Commenting on her 4 years away, she told the audience that she couldnât wait to get back here (to London). And she exuded such understated charm that stayed with her throughout the whole show.

The audience were taken on a trip down memory lane with a number tracks from the album 'Never Say Never' compiled into a shortened mellow medley consisting of the title track together with such laid back tunes as 'Almost Doesnât Count' and 'On Top of the World' amongst others. And there was a huge enthusiastic reception for 'I wanna be down' a track from the mid-nineties that pits Brandyâs sweet voice against some groovy laid back rhythm rap.

Then we were into the section of the show that dealt with the new album. This, indeed was the most impressive part exhibiting a richness of spine tingling sounds and harmonies. The background electronica and careful inter-twining of backing vocals with Brandy elegant vocals was especially evident in 'Torn Down'. There was a nice touch, if somewhat embarrassing for the gentleman concerned, as a male member of the audience was dragged on to the stage and placed on a stool, while Brandy, at times, kneeling in front, at times draped around, serenaded the poor bemused looking guy with 'Long Distance'. Enthusiastically thanking the audience for their support over the years which âmeant a lot to herâ, she finished the set with a real belter of a performance in the form of 'Right Here (Departed)'. This beautiful song was sung with soaring vocals, a style bordering on Gospel and with such passion it literally made my hairs stand on end.

Although the gig was very short - barely 45 minutes in length, it made for a lovely relaxed evening in the company of a very charming singer. Next time, though, in terms of performance length, make mine a double.

All photos care of Romain Kedochim. For more visit ROMAIN PHOTOGRAPHY
Words DARREN LEWIS

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