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Boyz II Men o2 Academy, Birmingham 5/5 It’s Monday night in the Birmingham O2 Academy, and a buzz of anticipation fills the air. The crowd is poised and ready for the arrival of Boyz II Men, who based on record sales alone hold the title of most successful R and B male vocal group of all time. Armed with this knowledge I had high expectations of what was to be my evening’s entertainment, and they certainly didn’t disappoint. The crowd is teased with a montage of their hits, each snippet eliciting a louder scream from the audience, before the trio appear on stage and launch into “Motownphily” a funky up-tempo number taken form their debut 1991 album “Cooleyhighharmony” The group themselves signed to Motown Records in 1990 and is made up of brothers Nathan and Wanya Morris, and Shaun Stockman. The fourth member Michael McCary left the group in 2003, but they have continued to record and perform as a trio for the last seven years, and are set to celebrate their 20th anniversary in September. Rather bizarrely the celebrations even include a Boyz II Men cruise!? Ingird Michaelson Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London 4/5 Ingrid Michaelson oozes appeal. From the moment she steps out in front of her hungry audience, Michaelson doesn’t let up on the effortlessly entertaining front. Be it her geeky charm, quirky sense of humour or scintillating singing, Michaelson is infectious and addictive. Michaelson wastes no time in ensuring her audience are aware that her show involves audience participation. An element that is lapped up by the packed house and Michaelson teaches a simplistic dance routine to the masses. Later in the show she will insist on responsive singing and raucous shouting. Her charming presence is enough to win over the hearts of many, but Michaelson proves, both with and without band backing, that at her core is a talented singer/songwriter whose able to deliver time and again. This is none the more evident that when she informs her audience of a little known British singer who covered one of her songs. The song in ques-

An hour and twenty minute set treats the audience to a selection of hits from throughout these 20 years. The Motown classic “It’s the same old song/Reach out I’ll be there” shows why comparisons have been made between the boys and The Temptations. They even throw in some funky Motown inspired dance moves for good measure. The audience is then taken back to the 90’s with all the old classics which feature on their “Legacy: Greatest Hits” album. Lucky girls near the front are given roses as they croon “I’ll Make Love to You”, and we are encouraged to phone our moms, so that they can listen to “A Song for Mama”. Their perfect harmonies and song interpretation are further showcased with songs form their latest 2009 covers album “Love”. “Iris” by the Goo Goo Dolls and “Amazed” by Lonestar are two standout performances by the group. With voices they themselves call “their very own musical instruments”, boundless energy and the ability to keep an audience gripped every step of the way, this is one gig I’m glad I got to experience firsthand! Kim Harrell tion, a little ditty Michaelson wrote with a friend, was performed in its original form. Without any extra special effort on her part, Michaelson proved that ‘Parachutes’ had far more to it than Cheryl Cole could ever bring to it. Nevertheless, Michaelson is happy about the songs fate, given the ‘Kerching’ factor of the celebrity singer. Having had just two rehearsals with her band, the ensemble gels and turns Michaelson’s acoustic mumblings into American College Rock. The new dynamic is intriguing, with Michaelson relishing her new role as lead singer. Yet it is when Michaelson is left alone on the stage that her true star shines. Always aware of her audience, Michaelson never shies away from dialogue and rewards requests with changes in her set. Her role is that of the performer and she is only to aware that her audience needs pleasing. In covering REM’s ‘Nightswimming’ as a close, Michaelson gave an insight into her inspirations. Standing solo on stage, using only a vocal loop as assistance, the rendition left the audience awe inspired and wanting more as they left the building. Jeremy Williams

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The Kaje - Issue 2 (June 2010)  

The Kaje is all about the arts - from the upcoming and underground through to the commercial mainstream. Issue 2 takes a look at: The Bang...

The Kaje - Issue 2 (June 2010)  

The Kaje is all about the arts - from the upcoming and underground through to the commercial mainstream. Issue 2 takes a look at: The Bang...

Profile for the_kaje