Written by Ayshamar Atkins
October was a busy month for Allsortz! As well as our usual monthly gig at Rich Mix we crossed the river to embraced the audience at the Southbank Centre: Queen Elizabeth Hall as a part of the “WHY? Festival” supported by Mischon de Reya. We took over a special Friday Tonic with MasterCard session and showcased our own unique brand of entertaining tonic!
The first act to grace the stage was the up and coming Mila falls and her three piece band; beginning with a set of stripped back covers including Waves by Mr. Probz and Wake Me Up by Avicii ft. Aloe Blacc. As she took centre stage under the luminous reddish purple light, her unique and distinctive vocals became apparent, combined with her lively and spirited stage presence, immediately captivating the audience’s attention and inspiring dance throughout the venue.
Next to be introduced to the stage was spoken word artist Izara B with her compelling piece Materialistic Society, exploring our view of society, it’s structure and the impact this has on us as individuals. This was then followed by an exclusive performance of her latest piece entitled “Kiss of Death”; not only was this piece contrasting in terms of style and theme, it also retained an immensely honest, open and moving message leaving the audience in silence throughout the powerful deliverance of the piece.
Rapper Narko then engaged the audience shortly afterwards by diving straight into his first song. One aspect of his performance that was really striking was his natural sense of stage presence, and this became more evident after a conversation with an audience member, which led straight into his final piece leaving us swept away by his authentic lyrical rhymes once again.
Following Narko, the charismatic duo: Sister Sidney took to the stage, skillfully charming the audience with their soulfully expressive voices. After performing two of their original pieces, the pair then moved on to perform a colorful acoustic version of Rita Ora’s – Just how we do.
To switch up the evening a little were the wild cards; for those unfamiliar with the concept, this allows anyone one who is feeling inspired take over the stage for a few minutes and to share their talent.
First up was Laura who presented a graceful medley of well-known songs including Stand Still and Look Pretty by The Wreckers; which she later explained represents a time in her life. Also to appear on stage was Milly, a young performer who instantly had the audience entertained with her quirky sense of style and explorative vocal techniques. The next wild card was Kyroe, who radiated confidence while rapping about the struggles of being successful and the thought of wanting something much bigger. We also had the pleasure of welcoming spoken word artist Kayrond to the stage with his humble, honest number tackling the issue of self expression and the path to self discovery. Next up was Germ Adan a member of the Adan project – a Scottish/ Haitian group based in the states, the dynamic singer serenaded the audience with a song reflecting on the trials of being in a long distance relationship, and to make the piece even more special it was sang in French Creole and accompanied by a steel string ukulele!
Moving back to the Main performance slots, young Shaquille, was next in line with his incredibly mellow voice. The singer and his two guitarists performed two classic covers – Ain’t No Sunshine When She’s Gone and an all time favorite by Bob Marley, this originally interpreted acoustic cover definitely had the audience enjoying themselves to the maximum!
DC Scribbla was next up with his old school American flow, including his original songs 98 Flows and Summertime, as usual the youthful artist had the audiences’ heads bobbing and singing along. One of the great things about this performance was his explanation behind the pieces, making it that much more relatable! DC Scribbla also performed a track off of his debut project called Girls, creating a different kind of energy.
The penultimate act and final wild card of an evening of immense talent, was Adrian Benjamin Haeske who had flown in from Germany to meet his long distance love. While walking south of the riverbank the young couple discovered Allsortz Open Mic taking place and romantically Adrian decided to dedicate a song to his love, Gressa. Pompeii – Bastille. This acoustic cover was not only a beautiful second to last performance with the spotlight surrounding Gressa, but to finish the gifted artist announced his love.
Finally to wrap up the event, Mila Falls returned to close the show with a number of originals. This successful and impressionable set included her lively and energetic performances of her songs including Voices and Remember me.