When was the last time you went to a gig? I mean a really good, hip swaying, foot tapping, sing-along-till-you're-hoarse gig? Last week, I had the pleasure of seeing Jill Scott. And believe me, the pleasure was all mine.
My fascination with Jill Scott was something that crept up from behind and caught me by surprise. It was actually my girl Sankofa that put Who Is Jill Scott? Vol.1 on my phone and practically force fed me Miss Scott's music. Her ability to manipulate words and make them mean what she wwants them to mean had me totally sucked in. The rest, as they say, is history.
So about three weeks ago when a colleague gave me the heads up about Jill Scott's UK tour (thank you Sandrine!) you could just imagine my excitement. That night, when I got home, I don't remember taking off my coat, or changing out of my uniform. I didn't pass Go, I didn't collect my £200, but headed straight for the laptop and logged onto ticketmaster.
This brings us up to last week. The date, 30th November. The time, 7pm. The place, the 02 Academy Brixton. We actually arrived at the venue at 6.30 to be met by a three man deep queue snaking around half of the building. The excitement started to bubble up inside me from then. I didn't care that I had to wait on the street, frozen to the bone for a good half an hour.
The show started with a DJ warming up the crowd with tracks from RnB's golden era. My man was laying on 90s track after 90s track from Biggie, The Fugees, Missy, Mary J Blige, Lil Kim, Tupac, Blackstreet...oooh, I was in music heaven! The crowd was great too - whether this is a positive reflection on Brixton or on Jill Scott, I don't know. But everyone was having a ball.
The lady of honour came on stage at 9 on the dot. Not a minute early, or a minute late. And there is something to be said about an artist that respects her fans enough to show up on time. She strutted on with a sure sexiness in every step. To put it in very Ghanaian terms, confidence be what?!
She got the party started with one of my favourite tracks, Shame from the new album Light of the Sun. And that was it. I was taken. Jill Scott's music had me seduced from the get go. We were also taken back in time with emotion laden tracks such as The Way and He Loves Me
(a sure favourite!)
What I loved about Jill was the fact that she engaged with the audience, and made us fall in love with her personality. My girl has a sense of humour! And this came shining out through her anecdotes which peppered her performance right till the end. And she did not fail to show us how powerfully feminine she really is with her Womanifesto and Rolling Hills.
This beautiful lady had us all captivated and eating out of the palm of her hand. Her voice which can be sultry and moody at one minute, and high and piercing the next is another story altogether. Trust me, you know it's good music when your thirty-something year old auntie can't stop moving.
I could go on for ages about the natural talent of this woman but I have to stop somewhere. So I'll leave you with this: it was a great night. Money well spent in my opinion. Money I would spend again and again and again to see this lady perform.
I was supposed to leave my top five Jill Scott songs, but that was too difficult. So let me say this: I love all of them.
P.S. Click on the title for a little surprise!