Soul-D-Out Live with Cleo Sol, KOF & G.R.E.E.d.S at Blag Club, London | Event Review

After a few months break and a change of venue, live music night Soul-D-Out UK returned on Friday November 11 at the Blag Club in Kensal Rise, West London. Although Frank Ocean and J Cole were both in town on the same night, the intimate venue provided the new home for the return of Soul-D-Out Live; hosted by D’Nyce of the legendary Rampage Crew with soulful R&B and Hip Hop provided by DJs Martin ‘Liberty’ Larner, Chuckie and Butch Kassidy.

After a short delay D Nyce, with the help of the house band, welcomes South London spoken word poet G.R.E.E.d.S. to the stage who, with the help of comedian (and seemingly part time hype guy) Kat B, encourages the shy crowd to warm up before getting into his popular spoken word piece “There She Goes,” then going straight into the soulful and quite sensual  “Only Me” from his forthcoming EP – one the ladies certainly appreciate.

No stranger to live performances, Cleo Sol brings a new energy to the stage instructing the audience to move closer to her (likening the size of the audience to her flat!). Her cover of Miguel‘s “Quickie” displays her unique swag and clear confidence in her vocal ability, whilst making a point to work the modest stage.

Not one to be discouraged she showesher professionalism and willingness to engage the crowd, explaining the stories behind the next tracks “Free” before kicking into her current single “High” then into her take on Barrington Levy‘s “Too Experienced” – the best received track of the night, with the consideration of its mature audience who were slowly moved to join in.

After a short introduction, Liverpudlian hailing singer and MC Kof was up next and although evidently not as accustomed to live performances, let alone to such modest spectators, his sweet vocals kept the vibe going with his interpretation of the first single from his new album “Looking At Me” aided by the band; especially the amazing drummer and guitarist whose heartfelt riffs complemented Kof’s mellow delivery.

By his final song, Kof was warmed up asking for help with the chorus for his cover of D’Angelo‘s “Brown Sugar” – again perfect for the nature of audience – before switching it up with a passionate version of his forthcoming single “Be Like You,” which ended the night to rapturous applause from the evidently tough crowd that each of the performers were not to be defeated by.

For those who appreciate homegrown talent and chose Soul-D-Out over the more obvious choices, the genres of R&B and spoken word are evidence that our music culture are thriving to its potential especially with three artists that are gaining momentum – and rightly so. Hopefully next time, without the US heavyweights as direct competition the live music night will be back in full effect.

Photography by Rakiya Shay [@RakiyaS]

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