If someone asked us what our version of heaven would be like, it’d be a place where every door you open leads you to a different intimate gig of constantly changing artists and genres.
It turns out the Roundhouse had a similar vision which they brought to life as part of 2018’s Roundhouse Rising festival.
Showcasing genres spanning from acoustic and spoken word to neo-soul and afro-jazz, the outer catacombs of the Roundhouse were transformed for the day into a music lover's utopia with different rooms given names such as ‘The Living Room, ‘The Park’ and ‘The Flat Party’.
We started off our day in ‘The Living Room’ for some high octane jazz before venturing over to the intimate space of ‘The Flat Party’ to see Ayamah whose soulful vocals gave us goosebumps for a good solid half an hour. Next up we relaxed in ‘The Park’ to singer songwriter Hattie Brigg’s beautiful acoustic set which wasted no time in glazing over the eyes of audience members across the venue. The tempo moved up a gear when we went to see Jerome Thomas deliver his infectious brand of slick contemporary soul, flexing his stage presence as he jumped down from the stage to perform amongst the audience for one of his tracks.
Moving into the evening session of the day we had our limbs loosened up and our minds blown by Cykada who dazzled with their jazz sound that seemed to draw inspiration from every single corner of the globe. Next up were Dylema Collective who we had been looking forward to all day and their blend of spoken word and neo-soul certainly didn’t disappoint. Zany bass lines, progressive lyrics and piano chords sent from straight the heavens had the crowd whooping with appreciation and letting out moans of sadness when they heard “this is our last song.”
The final act to take to the stage were Somewhere Soul favourites Boadi and The Banku Powers. Having recently featured on Colours Berlin, this was an artist who had just begun his inevitable upward trajectory into the limelight. Having seen Boadi & the Banku Powers recently we knew what was in store; D’angelo style vocals, funky bass lines and an instrumental cover of Stevie Wonder’s ‘Isn’t She Lovely’ which the crowd lapped up with appreciation. It was the perfect end to a day of music that was bursting at the seams with soul.