UK Spoken Word and Live Music Showcase Vocals & Verses celebrated their 2nd year anniversary last month at The Pipeline in London's Liverpool Street with performances from some of the UK's finest new and emerging talents in the landscapes of Spoken Word and Live Music.
Performing on the night was an interesting mix of artists which included Cynthia Erivo, J. Appiah, Franklyn, Ego Ella May, Sophia Thakur, Chozen and US Singer/Songwriter LaAerial. Apart from LaAerial and possibly Sophia Thakur who I had seen perform before but not in a live music setting, I was pretty familiar with the line-up of artists on the bill and I was particularly excited to see J. Appiah and Ego Ella May who had recently released her debut EP The Tree.
Hosted by the founder of Vocals & Verses, Chaleboy, the night started off with a curious performance from LaAerial. I say curious because much of what I caught from her performance set would have to be described as an improvised/freestyle jam session with the Vocals & Verses house band. Notwithstanding, this went down rather well with the packed out audience at the Pipeline.
The audience were in good hands tonight because after LaAerial set the night off right, we were treated to rather excellent performances from Sophia Thakur, J. Appiah and Franklyn - all before the half-way point of the show. What can be said about acoustic Soul singer and songwriter J. Appiah that has not already been said really so I will not dwell too much on the superb performance prowess of the Hackney native but I will say this, if you have the chance to catch J. Appiah live, you should take it! I do want to spend some time talking about young Spoken Word artist Sophia Thakur who was amazing beyond her young years and definitely left parts of herself on that Pipeline stage at Vocals & Verses.
At the start of the second half of the show, Ego Ella May performed a few songs from her EP, which all went down a real treat. Her performance set is quite the intriguing one with the way she uses her loop pedals and is almost in her own bubble except in between songs. Not everybody may be a fan but to find Ego Ella May anything but compelling would be quite impossible.
Unfortunately I couldn't get to watch Chozen or Cynthia Erivo do their thing on stage and it's such a shame because I haven't seen Cynthia Erivo live on stage in a long time and Spoken Word artist Chozen is always a consummate performer. He performed a spoken word piece with Sophia Thakur titled "Friend" (don't quote me on the title) and I was told that this brought the entire Vocals and Verses house down. I am not surprised at all because I was blessed to witness these two perform this particular piece at a previous event and they brought the house down then as well.
All in all, Vocals & Verses 2nd Anniversary was an excellent event and with their ethos being "feed the mind, feed the soul", they definitely succeeded with bringing that to fruition. I had never been to a Vocals & Verses showcase before and it was a good thing that I went. The venue was packed to the rafters which is always good for the artists, the artists that I witnessed were very very good and the crowd came with a good vibe which is always an added icing on top for live music showcases.
The next Vocals & Verses event is taking place this month and it sees them play host to Manchester's very own J.P Cooper at The Tabernacle in London on May 23. You can purchase tickets for that from HERE.