I had the pleasure of going to the April show of the very cool One Taste Live monthly music event, held in alternate locations: The Bedford in Balham and The Bedroom Bar in Shoreditch.

Now I was going on the recommendation of an old friend who was going to see a mutual old friend perform. I haven’t been to a live music event in so long so this was the perfect opportunity and exactly what I needed.

It was everything I needed. This show was held in the The Bedford gastro pub in Balham which has a great theatre space hidden in the back.  I was there to see friends and enjoy some live music and spoken words. Very grown up and very much of something I used to find myself an avid audience of up until the last couple of years. The atmosphere alone was enough to tell me that this kind of night out is good food for the soul. Musical headliners included TAWIAH and BEAR with spoken words and cheeky poetry from M.C’s G.R.E.E.d.s and Sabrina Mahfouz. There was talk of special USA guests which I remember thinking was an odd, tentative addition to the lineup but forgot about until the night.

TAWIAH was the mutual friend from school who I hadn’t seen perform since I was 17. Whenever I thought of her singing I could immediately remember where I was standing, how I felt and the looks on the pupils faces as everyone in the foyer stopped to watch. She was truly beautiful, she sang Alicia Key’s ‘Butterflies’  and I was reasonably hooked on the song because of her. This time round her music was her own. She’s come a long way from singing in the foyer of the BRIT School; she’s clearly worked hard and clearly still does. It’s her own stuff, I can’t even pin her music down to one sound it’s that eclectic – how many people can say that these days?. Armed with a few familiar faces in her band (Jodi Millner and Blue), and ridiculously cool drummer Pauli (this guy reaffirmed my dream to be a drummer on the side) I promised to see her perform more, because her rise to stardom has been building for some time, but her fan base is growing daily. Click here to see and hear more of her for free!

Now what I wasn’t expecting was to see someone I had inadvertently met on a random day 6 months ago. Working in Shoreditch my BFF and I had decided to go and chill work at the RICH MIX. Behind us were three men involved in a very passionate discussion about the state of spoken word and poetry in the UK today. I won’t / can’t go in to detail, but long story short my friend and I liked what they were saying and decided to give our two cents when all but one had left. His name I forget but he was nice, he was a young M.C touring around and being part of the new collective of poets trying breaking out of the underground scene and turn it mainstream. He turned out to be G.R.E.E.d.s and this turned out to be the random moment in time that I would actually see him perform (as we agreed all those months ago but hadn’t got round to) with the friend who was with me when we first met him. It was meant to be because he was awesome.

Quick witted and charismatic spoken words about growing up in Nigeria and London, holding a gun for the first time, talking on the phone to girls and being a late bloomer in life. All with perfect audience interaction and such endearing presence I was pleasantly impressed. Here’s some of his other stuff.

The special guests from the USA?  The Deadly Gentlemen. This was the best surprise of all because there were 5 of them, all very VERY pleasing to the eye – visually it’s like they were hand-picked by Wes Anderson – and all armed with instruments. Fiddle, Banjo, Guitar, Mandolin and a Double Bass!!! Blue grass, Rock and elements of Rap makes for a delicious experiment done good. I was slapping all the knees around me at one point, my eyes darting between each member because they were so brilliant at what they did I didn’t want to miss a thing. There is another wave of Bluegrass music feeding into the masses at the moment thanks to Mumford & Sons, though they can not be held responsible for the awesome collectives of many Canadian and American groups that have gone before, they have got the rest of the world paying attention to it again. The Deadly Gentlemen are in their own right intelligent musical wizards. I seriously think you should go and check them out here.

Sabrina Sabrina, I never knew how much I needed her.                                                                           That is my offering to the poetry corner, unlike Sabrina Mahfouz; a pint-sized loud mouthed force of brilliance who is just so unsuspectingly eloquent, funny and sexy. All at once. Ridiculously talented woman but she really exists. She reminds me of a former English class mate of mine, Laura Dockrill, but a little bit more sordid; with her poems taken from the perspectives hookers and disillusioned young women. Boasting praises from reviews in the Guardian and critics at the Fringe Festival Mahfouz was actually very humble; she told us how nervous she was and that she was a little off her game having not performed since December; but she didn’t disappoint. She has this whimsical chameleon like ability to jump from a Yorkshire accent to an Urban London yoot one. It’s truly a crazy enjoyable thing to experience because she is so small, yet her presence on stage is undeniably focused and attention grabbing. See more here .


Then there is BEAR. Be still my heart.

It’s damned near impossible to track him down, but he has a Myspace full of his positive music here and has the sweetest disposition on stage. He is a big bear-ish guy, but he has the smoothest voice. Such was his acoustic set on stage that I am going to see him this Friday at Passing Clouds in Hackney. So come if you can. Music for the soul people! enjoy and share.


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