In Britain 71030 people are living with HIV. Worldwide there is a new infection every 6 seconds…Prejudice and stigma continue to force people to live in isolation.
Body & Soul is a UK charity supporting children, teenagers and families living with, or closely affected by, HIV. As part of their fund-raising they organised a concert – Voicestorm - of strong inspirational women, dedicated to Dame Anita Roddick, who was well-involved in the organisation (you might know her work as she started The Body Shop).
Being compeered by Edith Bowman, a Radio 1 presenter, the concert was held at the Roundhouse in Camden.It was my first visit there are really liked the venue. The show was not about the venue though – the artists did just as good a job at impressing me!
First up was Lauren Pritchard. I had heard of her through one of the London Blogger’s Meetup competitions, but nothing else. I liked her set, though of course not knowing any of the songs, and them being quite low-key, I couldn’t get as excited as I got with some of the others. Good start to the concert…and it only went up from there!
Going from first to last act, this was The Ting Tings. I didn’t recognise the name, but when they started singing I definitely recognised a couple of their songs. They played an acoustic set with a cellist (always a positive thing with me ;)). Good end to the night following all the great acts in between!
Another of the acts I hadn’t heard before was Alice Russell. Why have I never heard of her before? I’ve got no idea! She’s a British soul singer – and she was fantastic! She made me want to move around, laugh, and have an all-round good-time! I was really surprised by her – in a very positive way. Love-love-loved her!
Melanie C, who was up before Alice Russell, was another of the get-up-and-move-around kind of acts. She got me well interested with her first song – a brass accompanied I Turn to you. I actually knew the words, which always puts a smile on my face! However, the shining moment in her performance was definitely her rendition of Nina Simone‘s Ain’t Got No, I’ve Got Life. This song is currently being used as the track to a yoghurt commercial here, so everyone knew it (though maybe not the words). Great great fun! You can see it below:
The highlight of the programme (as planned) though was definitely Annie Lennox, a patron of Body & Soul since 2009. We heard some old favourites, as well as her first major live performance of her new song, Universal Child:
Highlight of the night for me though was definitely Annie Lennox’s encore: Sweet Dreams! This is my all-time favourite song, and was so disappointed when she didn’t sing it in the main set. Edith Bowman then proceeded in encouraging us in calling her back – she did – and she sang! Amazing! A latino-rendition (in her own words) of the song. Everyone was up and singing! It was great!
As we were told – over and over again! The night was A-MAZING! The atmosphere only proceeded to get more and more electric as the night progressed. Mel C was the first to really get us going with her upbeat songs, Alice Russell just kept the tempo going and upped it a bit more, while of course Annie Lennox was the icing on the cake. A truly inspirational concert, both the songs and the cause.
Thank you Michael for getting us the tickets!