First and foremost, thank you [opening act] Daley. A friend brought you to my attention and I have your mixtape downloaded already. Catching the last two songs of your support set – “Sonny” and “Blame The World” was a real privilege.
I first saw Ledisi years ago at some place in Ascot and though most of the people there did not seem to know who she was, she came out and gave 100%. When she left everyone knew who she was and enjoyed her performance. Further performances at the Jazz Cafe confirmed for me that Ledisi is mega-talented and never disappoints.
Tonight Ledisi is uptempo, upbeat and looks excited to be here. Ledisi is joyous, alive, playful, with a warm, friendly and wholly positive attitude. On an evening when autumn temperatures in London have miraculously reached 28 degrees and Bush Hall is baking (air conditioning is really essential for this venue on nights like these) Ledisi is true to form and once again giving her all. “Higher Than This” and “Knockin’” really get the audience moving from the start. Ledisi sees this, she feeds off it, seems to work harder and when you think she has given all she can, she somehow gives more.
Whether she is singing a ballad dedicated to strong, confident women with a man in tow or her highest charting single “Pieces Of Me”, Ledisi never disappoints! The real treat of the evening is a storming version of “Get Out Of My Kitchen”. Ledisi teases the audience by leaving the stage. Vowing not to return until they are ready, she soon returns and with band solos and her trademark scatting, the audience and I are in that kitchen with her and we don’t mind the heat because that’s where the party is happening. At the end of the song I am drenched in sweat from dancing in the sauna-like heat of Bush Hall but loving it! Thankfully a change of pace gives us “I Gotta Get To You” and the uplifting “It’s Alright”. Ledisi shares her purpose with us reminding us to have faith and face our fears, love ourselves and cheekily to be careful of who and what we allow in our personal circle which raises a few giggles from the audience. She returns for the encore “Shut Up” and is visibly moved to tears at the end of the gig.
Ledisi, please know that the Bush Hall audience left smiling and loves you. The girls laughing and funking their way down the Uxbridge Road after the gig and singing your praises are inspired by you! This is what you do! There’s lots to look forward to next year with the Olympics in July and a diamond Jubilee in June. I am also so looking forward to the return of Ledisi on tour in January 2012.
About the Writer
Terry Joe is a London-based has led bands as a vocalist, releasing cds and regularly performing. His favourite artists include Anita Baker, Jill Scott, Al Green, Gladys Knight, Stevie Wonder, Ledisi, Nathan Haines, Me'shell NdegeOcello and many more.