Sunday 15th September 2013
£20.00 - £30.00
Hosted by the wonderfully charismatic and talented soul singer Natalie Williams and her band, Soul Family Sunday offers the chance to catch some of the best R&B, soul and jazz musicians in the UK up close and personal.
While guests vary from month to month, there is always the opportunity to hear music of the highest quality where the
stars of the British scene showcase their material in an exciting ad hoc setting.
NATALIE WILLIAMS BIOGRAPHY
Now launching her 6th solo album, MOBO nominated singer- songwriter, Natalie Williams, is an essential fixture in UK music.
With her incredible all star 10 piece band she is in the 7th year of running and hosting her monthly residency, Soul Family Sundays, at the Club, which has featured the likes of Lalah Hathaway, Jamie Cullum, David Ryan Harris, Jarle Bernhoft, Hamish Stuart, Alice Russell, Terri Walker, Gwyneth Herbert, Krystle Warren, Eska, Roachford, Emeli Sande, Omar and many more.
Throughout her career, Natalie has toured extensively around the globe, performing at a number of the world’s leading live music events including opening the London Jazz Festival (2009) at the Barbican with Guy Barker’s Jazz Voice, Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, Glastonbury Festival and the Royal Jubilee Pageant, amongst many more.
Williams has appeared as a featured artist with RnB producer and DJ, Nu:Tone, collaborated with The Heritage Orchestra, Goldie, Bugz In The Attic, Jamie Cullum, Shlomo and Amy Winehouse, supported John Legend, Lemar, Alison Moyet, Babyface and the Neville Brothers. She appeared with legendary drummer, Manu Katché, on his French TV show ‘One Shot Not’ alongside Kurt Elling. More recently, Williams has performed backing vocals for Cee-Lo Green, Miss Dynamite and Keri Hilson.
2012 saw her at the Barbican’s sold out Urban Classics performance with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, performing backing vocals for Ed Sheeran, Devlin and Miss Dynamite. Returning in August 2013 at the Royal Albert Hall with the LSO and featuring Laura Mvula and Maverick Sabre.
2011 saw the start of Natalie’s exciting, popular and vibrant vocal collaboration, BLINQ, alongside the king and queen of the British vocal jazz scene, Ian Shaw and Liane Carroll, vibrant soul singer Brendan Reilly of Basement Jaxx and Mercury nominated pianist, Gwilym Simcock. The project’s sell out performances in 2012 received great critical acclaim.
In January 2012 she started collaborating with Bluey from Incognito, co-writing three tracks on the acclaimed new album ‘Surreal’ and she has since joined the band as one of the lead singers of the group, touring the USA, Europe and the Jakarta and Shanghai Jazz Festivals in 2012. Their Japan Blue Note tour in August 2012 saw Natalie her appear alongside legendary songwriter, Leon Ware, performing his original classic ‘Inside My Love’ written for Minnie Ripperton.
2013 has seen Natalie go from strength to strength. Her busy diary with Incognito has taken her to the USA and throughout Europe including performing solo at the Royal Albert Hall in May supporting Mario Biondi.
Natalie Williams drive and fluidly evolving artistry is undeniable – a drive that was rewarded in October 2010 when she was nominated for a MOBO Award for best UK soul, in a category alongside internationally recognised artists Sade, Corinne Bailey-Rae and Plan B. Whether she’s featuring as a sensational singer-songwriter, producer, promoter, or champion of burgeoning talent, she’ll forever be the epitome of a true artist.
…”People can’t help but go away with a bit of Williams’ natural sparkle having attached itself to them”
special guest ESKA
Zimbabwe-born and London-raised composer ESKA comes from a rich musical background. As a vocalist, her legendary virtuosity has attracted the attentions of a host of acclaimed artists – the likes of Tony Allen and David Sylvian, to name a few. Her vocal arrangements have credits on 3 Mercury-nominated albums that range from hip-hop to indie to jazz. For her solo project, she chose to work alongside one of her most recent collaborators, artist-producer Matthew Herbert. ESKA leads the 80-voice Goldsmiths Ensemble who have performed with Matthew Herbert’s Big Band. This summer, she conducted a 150-voice choir for Bobby McFerrin‘s improvisational performance at the Jazz a Vienne Festival, France.
ESKA is a voice already heard by millions, but until now it’s not arrived at the opportunity to shine in a space of its master’s own making. She’s taken her time for good reason: this is music that walks a fine tightrope, the slightest breath enough to unsettle the serenity it so effortlessly conjures. Though her boisterous performances of the past decorated the output of Zero 7, Matthew Herbert and The Cinematic Orchestra to great effect, here the emphasis is on tranquillity over tumult. Settle back, sink into it; surface when you’re ready, take your time.
But don’t mistake ESKA for an artist with chill-out intentions, clichéd as such a route is – her music wears its experimental tendencies on its sleeve, and proudly so. Equally, although blessed with a powerful voice, easily on a par with any chart-topping diva you’d care to mention, she doesn’t belt it out for the sake of doing so. Instead, ESKA uses her vocals in intriguing ways, layering them to form new levels in the instrumentation, complementing self-penned compositions and arrangements laid-down by means both conventional and absolutely not, invention and expression always paramount in her mind. Lyrics drift in and out of focus, meaning dissolving and ambiguity every bit as essential to the overall message as direct narratives.
If you’re after a hook to hang this music on, with its nuanced structure and inquisitive playing, the best available is perhaps that of folk. But ESKA is unlikely to be confused with traditional purveyors of the genre past or present, her assemblage of myriad elements leading to motifs that point the way forward rather than retreating into the past. Just as her friends and sometime musical partners The Invisible merged styles from across the spectrum to arrive at their Mercury-nominated sound, ESKA’s ear is tuned to composition comprised of constituent pieces that only ever complement one another. That they come from across the sonic spectrum is a moot point when the seamlessly structured end product is processed. The joins are conspicuous by their absence, scrutiny derailed by the inherent beauty on show.
Throughout her career ESKA has attracted the attentions of a host of acclaimed artists, many of whom she has later worked with – the likes of Tony Allen and David Sylvian do not associate themselves with any old vocalist who passes their creative windows. Now, though, ESKA is the one throwing the shutters open, looking out onto the world through her own eyes. That she likes what she sees is indubitable; and that all and sundry will be seduced by the sounds she brings with her, equally unequivocal.
Tell us what you think of Natalie Williams Soul Family, special guest ESKA below..