Phenomenal performance by The Legendary Earth Wind & Fire at London’s 02 last night. I first became aware of the amazing music of my favourite band through songs like Keep Your Head To The Sky and Devotion; after seeing their mindblowing performance at Madison Square Garden in 1975, I was the first British journalist to interview Maurice White in person during a plane ride from Los Angeles to Seattle that proved to be a life-altering conversation. Over the years, I interviewed Maurice and Verdine White many times and I have many precious memories connected with EW&F over decades – their music has enriched my spirit, touched my soul and kept my feet dancing!
Last night, this superb group (with original members Philip Bailey and Ralph Johnson and a brilliant band) served up classic after classic – Can’t Hide Love, Serpentine Fire, Fantasy, Jupiter, On Your Face, Yearnin & Learnin, Evil, Reasons, Shining Star, Sing A Song, Head To The Sky, That’s The Way Of The World alongside the timeless hits, After The Love Has Gone, September, Let’s Groove, Boogie Wonderland and a rousing encore with one of my personal favourites, In The Stone. I got my vocal workout (thanks Philip!) and my dance on! It was easily the best show of the year!
After the show, an opportunity to catch up with Verdine (recently inducted into The SoulMusic Hall Of Fame at SoulMusic.com), Philip and Ralph along with manager Damien Smith and longtime EWF music lover Junior Hamer and to meet the offspring Philip Doron Bailey and Kahbran Whiteboth of whom I had illuminating and enlightening conversations with. Thanks Gary Thomas Kypa for capturing precious memories on camera. To top off an incredible evening, I was on the tube going home and a man came and sat next to me (after staring at me for several minutes!) and asked if I was the guy who wrote all the articles for Blues & Soul back in the day. Thanks David Lewie Lewis for reminding me that all those interviews really made a difference in informing people about the enormous contribution of Earth Wind & Fire. The perfect way to end my day which started with my move to my new flat. Feeling fulfilled, blessed and eternally grateful.