by Coral Consciouslee
It is hard to put into words the preparation that went into the culmination of two epic days. Not because I cannot express myself, but because there is so much to encapsulate in just one blog.
Hard to believe, but the planning literally started on New Year’s Day with a phone call from Mr Brown outlining his requirements for the promotion and marketing of his forthcoming album. Those who have listened to Mr Brown’s songs and his vlogs will be aware of his ability to paint a very vivid picture with his words and I honestly had no problem visualising what he had in mind.
With the campaign for the album organised, I admit I did feel a little apprehension about reaching our desired demographic. I wondered how the album would be received: would it be liked? I needn’t have worried, the video of the song “Right There” heralding the release of the album exceeded all expectations. Considering this song was taken from the previous “30” album in 2012, this was no mean feat. By the time of the official release of the album, we had no doubt that we had a hit on our hands. I mentally noted that quality and presentation together with consistency in promoting could achieve a great result.
What a start to the New Year! Lloyd’s campaign for his concert at the Hideaway in February had hardly started when we got the news that it had sold out. SOLD COMPLETELY OUT! I think the whole team was in shock for about a whole week. It was only the third week in January and the concert would be taking place on 23rd February; it was a case of “What do we do now??” The good thing about being sold out was that whilst we could relax somewhat on the promotion and turn our attention to other projects in the works.
I was happy, I mean REALLY happy at the way things had progressed promotion-wise. I couldn’t have wished for better when it came to working with Lloyd Brown. However better DID come. Lloyd got the news that he and the Riddimworks Band were invited to play at the BBC 1Xtra Live Sessions based in the illustrious BBC Maida Vale Studios, which would later be featured in an interview with David Rodigan no less! In my opinion from a UK point of view, it doesn’t get much better than that. We learned that the recording would take place the same weekend. I KNEW that the weekend was going to be special.
If I had any difficulty, it was trying to get Lloyd to rest; when it comes to music the man is alive 24/7! I wondered at times if he slept at all, or was he like those Cyborgs from the Sci-Fi films who simply plugged themselves into some sort of device for a recharge.
Directly involved with the preparation of the concert, it had been a long time since I had felt so excited. The mood in the dressing room was one of exhilaration and anticipation – a lot of effort and groundwork had gone into this and the packed audience outside eagerly awaited what promised to be an epic show. This was my first time seeing Lloyd Brown live. I can honestly say that I was blown away by from start to finish. It sounds like I am playing suck-up and kissing his bottom, but Lloyd really does have the knack and intuition of choosing the right people for the right position within the team and definitely on the night of the concert. DJ Elayne Smith was perfectly cast as the hostess of the show, adding her own unique comedic style to the proceedings and warming up the audience ready for the man himself.
How can I describe it? The audience got pure, musically unfiltered Lloyd Brown. He sang to perfection, he engaged the audience, he made them cheer, made them laugh, made them FEEL. What was even more remarkable was the almost telepathic link he had with the Riddimworks Band. I could tell there were more than a few spontaneous moments that was inserted into the concert and one would be forgiven for thinking by the response of the band that these moments had been rehearsed beforehand – such was the tightness and togetherness. The brass section added class and flare, their professionalism and prowess on the night could not be matched. True Identity Trio caressed the audience into a melodic trance, there were times I had to close my eyes and smile. Paulette Tajah and Michael Gordon were the perfect choices as guest artists for this particular concert. Indeed my favourite song of the night was ‘Take My Hand’ his duet with Michael. It had depth and meaning, it was soulful and touching. ‘Turn Around’ with Paulette Tajah musically painted the picture of a couple in bed after arguing prior; done with elegance and flair. Paulette hit some high notes that had me applauding wildly. Every song was delivered with precision and vocal ability. My only criticism is that I could have easily done with another hour!
After a day of rest on Sunday, Lloyd and the Riddimworks Band went to the BBC 1Xtra studios in Maida Vale to record 4 songs for an interview with David Rodigan which he conducted at Broadcasting House the following Thursday. By then I was very tired, yet I marvelled at the energy that the whole team produced musically. It was an epic weekend that I will never forget. The dream of working with a professional musical team became a reality and helped me to reach a standard that I didn’t think possible.
The weekend was a gamechanger, a turning point and a point of reference. There is so much more to come.
To be continued…….
NB: Photos courtesy of Courtney Anglin