Beverley Knight is taking a cab across town to appear on Robert Elms’ BBC Radio London show. Ordinarily we’d be conducting this interview, as we have several times in the past, in a cozy café around the corner from her manager’s office, but on this occasion not only are we uncomfortably close to deadline, Bev herself is currently spinning so many career plates that a half-hour call from her mobile is about as quiet as it’s going to get for her any time soon. Seems like life is running ever faster for the Wolverhampton wanderer a quarter century down the line.
‘A quarter what now?’ I hear you ask. Yes, it’s true: The venerable Ms. Beverley [MBE] is soon to celebrate the 25th year since the release of her debut album, The B-Funk back in 1995. And not only has she released eight studio albums [and three hits compilations] during that time, she’s also managed to build and maintain a whole other main strand to her professional life by becoming a regular of the West End stage…
When a band’s been together for decades they’re automatically classed as a heritage act and apart from being wheeled out every time an anniversary comes round, no one expects them to be making new music of any great significance. Yet Third World have defied the odds and delivered a new album, More Work To Be Done, which is among their very best.
It took some doing… although the producer was Damian Marley, who’s known the veteran Jamaican hit makers all his life. He and Shiah, son of Third World guitarist Stephen “Cat” Coore, were best friends growing up. In fact they lived next door to each other – so it’s hardly surprising that Cat calls Damian “nephew,” or that he and Damian would eventually work together, rather than just sing and jam socially.
The turning point came after Third World recorded a remake of 96 Degrees In The Shade, featuring Damian and his brother Stephen, for their 2007 album Patriots…
Soul Rebels may be an eight-member brass ‘n’ drum outfit from New Orleans but Messrs. Julian Gosin [trumpet, MC], Marcus Hubbard [trumpet], Lumar LeBlanc III [snare drum], Derrick Moss [bass drum], Corey Peyton [trombone, MC], Erion Williams [saxophone], Paul Robertson [trombone] and Manuel Perkins Jr. [sousaphone] are certainly more than that five-word description suggests.
“We’re a brass band from New Orleans, yes, but we’re not that band in your mind,” offers Marcus Hubbard, as we discuss the variety of musical styles on the Rebels’ new album, the just released Poetry In Motion. “We come from the tradition but we are now some place else. Listen, recently we went from doing a show with Metallica, to doing a funeral, to doing a birthday party, to playing at a Jewish wedding and then two live shows of our own in two clubs… all in the same week! We play all kinds of music. And all kinds of people can relate to what we do…
With 12 years having passed since 2007’s Romance Ain’t Dead, Kid Acne’s latest solo project had to be more than just an album. Which it is.
A few months before Have A Word’s release – should you be in Sheffield – you could visit Have a Word: An Exhibition of Lyrics & Typography, a self-explanatory show that opened in September. Showcasing his particular brand of typography, the exhibition let Acne showcase a long-running highlight of his releases, familiar to anyone who’s seen one of his covers.
“The album was pretty much done when I started work on the exhibition,” he says. “Although my art and music do occasionally link, they’re generally disparate. I decided if I was going to put out an album as Kid Acne again, it should really tie in with my artwork in a more direct way.