Aesthetic Sounds 'Live' ft Vula – Thursday 5th February

This week Aesthetic Sounds, one of the UK’s most popular live soul music showcases, kicked off its 2009 season with a bang. It may have a brand new resident venue, but don’t be fooled – it still has the same diverse and dynamic line up that makes this night a monthly favourite.

Although Vula was the headliner, her supporting acts for this edition were also nothing to be underestimated. A standout performance came in the form of love ballads by the velvet-voiced crooner David Prosper, whose impressive portfolio includes collaborations with Angie Le Mars and theme music provided for MTV Base’s “Brothers UK” starring Chucky Venn, Michael Harvey and Jason Barratt.

Another highlight was Fontana, a 7-piece ensemble led by vocalist Christian Fontana, who tickled our eardrums with their unique blend of funk and jazz reminiscent of Frank Sinatra’s big band era.

Other acts of the night included the soulful stylings of L-Marie, Irish folk duo Fola and the lovely songstress/proprietor of the night, Sarah Fonteyne accompanied by her fantastic house band. Following a brief intermission – and the impromptu poetic engagement of a couple in the crowd (congrats Emeka and Ehiaghe!) – Vula gave a memorable, upbeat performance which reaffirmed she is definitely one of London’s rising stars to watch.

The set focused on her new May 2009 album; the first single (out in March), Money, befitting the current credit crunch. In the refrain to one of the album’s breakout singles, Vula assured us that, “If you want it, you can have it. I’ll be all that you need. If you want it, you can have it. I’ll be your everything” – and the audience was inclined to believe her. Her set was finished off with the lively “Crash Da Party” where she appropriately singled our her band to flex their musical muscles and even called singer Tawiah from the audience to crash the set with her own rendition of the hook.

All in all, Aesthetic Sounds is off to a great start. With an eclectic music-loving crowd, an unpretentious venue that keeps the focus on the artists, and heeps of raw organic talent with no preservatives …this night proves that 2009 is shaping up to be 2000-Live.

NEXT Aesthetic Sounds ‘Live’ ft Manuela Panizzo – Thursday 5th March 2009
Live Soul, Hiphop & Jazz. 7.30pm-1am
(Live show from 9pm prompt, DJ 11.30-1am)
Support acts: Bassics, Sarah Fonteyne, Hui-a, C J Browne & Tekiva
Sound, 1 Leicester Square.
£5 before 9pm, £7 after