The UK’s summer months are always chock-a-block with fabulous events all over the country and I for one wouldn’t live anywhere else in the world with London’s current social menu.
Honestly-every day there are hundreds of free or vip events taking place every few meters across the capital. What an engaging, dynamic city we live in. the world literally can be your oyster if you pay the system correctly!.
If half of this stuff had been available to my generation leaving college I might be running the BBC by now! Lol!. There are so many young people that read this column and write to me hoping to make their career path media or music related. There are as many organizations out there working hard to give young people a leg up via their educating structures and placements (LIVE, LIVITY, CATCH22, MEDIA TRUST, ETC). If you’re attempting to break into the industry now and cant there’s a glitch in YOUR matrix cos its easier now than its ever been.
I like to work hard and party hard. Life work balance is important. So as well as reading scripts and looking over edits by my LONDON 360 reporters this week, doing radio pundit call in’s with BBC radio stations as well as writing my columns-I managed to squeeze in a lil fun.
Last weekend Hackney Empire played host to the now regular COMEDY ROAST UK where a well known face in the community agrees to sit on a red velvet throne for acouple of hours and get a right nasty roasting from a panel of 5 comedians. In the past victims have included Richard Blackwood, Robbie gee and Mohammed George from Eastenders. Last weekend was one that had theatre going comedy lover’s lips watering-it was time to sock it to Harvey. Yes he of the sweet boy 21 seconds so solid days that infamously wed the nations sweetheart alesha Dixon only to mess up publicly and have an affair with javine. He who seemed to get back on the career road like Chris brown post drama but still kept rubbing up people the wrong way. Anyway-alpo and the comedy roast team had convinced Harvey to get cussed for the night and oh did he! Roasters axel the entertainer, Kane Brown, Kevin J, Funmbi, Jamie Howard and roastmster compere Richard Blackwood.
Comedian Funmi just had Hackney Empire roaring with his line “I’m Nigerian-i can’t even bring a Jamaican gal home. Mum this is Marsha, “mum: she can marsh out’’.Kevin J is killed it! This lithe white comic ALWAYS has new jokes! That’s why he gets so much credibility with the mainly black audience. When Harvey first came onstage he was wearing sunglasses. Within seconds the audience forced him to take em off. Showing clearly from the start that they wanted to see the whites of his eyes as he took his verbal lashes.
Comic Axel referred to Harvey as his former band mate Nuetrino as a diss. Hilariously Nuetrino was in the audience. A double diss!. Then the comic lashed out stating that comedy roast organises had tried to get so solids main man megaman but couldn’t afford him so they settled for Harvey. Axel took it where the crowd wanted by swinging the 1st ball out of the park and going in on the harveyaleshagate scandal and continuously talked about ‘’gap tooth javine” throughout all this Harv was drinking alcohol straight from the bottle hard. I wondered how he would manage to organise a retort diss to all at the end with his brain soaked in alcohol? The cusses continued to fly thick and fast (pretty much like Harvey). ‘’ In So Solid videos I didn’t know if I was watching you and Romeo or Brokeback Battersea” (Funmbi) . “Harvey reps South London but was born in Devon-how gangsta is that!” (Funmbi).
All the comics were mean but it was newcomer Jamie Howard who really shone with his original lyrics! Sharp cusses! Hilarious material! Jamie had a tight set with a joke every second!
Impressively, at the end when it was Harv’s time to cussback, he cussed Richard Blackwood for his bankrupt days, joked about giving the white comedians equal opps and impressively gave as good as he got in an articulate manner.
I’ve always thought Harvey was wasted and held back by his own issues. He has so many options and doors open to him. So many wasted opportunities. I’ve clashed with him in the past when we worked together. He had the decency to admit his errors and apologise. I do admire his passion but I wonder if it will all end in his pain.
Harv finished off by thanking everyone and requesting the crowd (not begging) to buy his new single featuring Gyptian. Out July 21st (gotta give a broke brother a break with a plug!)
Sony Music kick started the week with a fabulous function. The New Bond Street Armani Store was transformed into a mini music festival – albeit a VIP one complete with Vodka cocktails and fashionista’s! In amongst the uber expensive clothing rails with not a pair of Wellington boots or a drop of mud to be seen, only chic biker jackets, skinny jeans and killer heels graced this crowd!! The music and fashion crowd when not air kissing and tweeting on I-phones, managed to enjoy great performances by 3 sony music acts- Oh Land, Lissie and Aloe Blacc. Food and drinks were being served for a specially invited VIP audience of only 200 guests and even though indie or country music isn’t usually my bag, I had to admit that live music in all it’s forms is always impressive when coupled with fabulousness people and fake grass carpets!.
Then as if to cement their status as the record label that has always thrown the most fabulous parties they kicked in another goal by restaging Beyonces Battersea Gas Station party in a quick 3 days (Battersea couldn’t guarantee safety for stage weight etc), Sony brought the party home to West London at Shepherds Bush Empire where you knew something big was about to go down when the whole of West London’s roads became gridlocked in the early evening. Very big black cars that are so expensive we cant pronounce their names lined up all around shepherds bush green as A Listers all stepped out to watch Beyonce perform a 30 minute set. I know I’ve said VIP before but seriously even I was impressed to speechless! Stepping out of their various modes of transport were folks whohave probably never stepped outside of their Mayfair square mile were designer and guru Tom Ford, designer Ozwald Boating with his daughter, designer Patrick Cox, Piers Morgan, Ridley Scott, Stella McCartney, designer Matthew Williamson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ewan McGregor, Johnny Lee Miller, Jude Law and more. Inside were hip-hop business legend Steve Stoute and Faisel Durrani, Wretch32, Tinie Tempah, Adele, Alexandra Burke, Alexis Jordan,JLS, Jessie J, Julian MacDonald, Mr Hudson, Pixie Lott and more. Can you see now why if Shepherds Bush were scooped up in a cyclone and disposed of half of the showbiz industry as we know it would’ve been extinct! Not even the BRIT AWARDS has a guest list like this!
I knew it was a real big deal when you saw the industry legends that had come out to play. Sony music past and present were in full force and it was an impressive army of music power players that have shaped our charts in recent years. They all came out to honour Queen Bee and included Jim Sabey, Jodie Dalmeda, Mervyn Lynn, Matt Ross, Fiona Ramsey, Carl Fysh, Gary Deny and Gordy Hagan. Beyonce came on quite late but no one cared as it was like a huge catch up party in the venue. When she did make her grand entrance in her favourite canary yellow mini dress and sexy silver stilettos the crowd erupted. They’d already become hysterical spotting Jigga in the balcony and chanted Jay Z like the best football fans would. Bey played a few songs from her new album Beyoncé’s 4 in a very high-energy show! Plus several well know chart hits by other musicians, such as The Sex, It Is On Fire by The Kings Of Leon and Bohemian Rhapsody by The Freddie Mercuries. A great moment was when she sang Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody (Mama)-as her mama Tina Knowles sat with her son-in-law Jay to watch their girl do her thing.
At the VVIP after party- for only 100 people, DJ Jarren C (BANGFM RDAIO and regular celeb party spinner) , spun the music in the very small backstage bar. This bar is legendary and usually looks like a grimy, old pit. Tonight it had what looked like the blingiest 60 second make over and was transformed into a sexily lit, white fur/animal skin rugs, leopard print curtained, red rose laden glam pit!. To add to the intimacy-even though the bar is tiny-it was full of A-LISTERS yet still spacey showing how exclusive this lil get together was! To my right were Tom Ford and Stella McCartney, to my left Jigga, very immaculate Bey and team RocNation. All around me were players at the top of their game. Ozwald introduced his daughter to Stella and Jay. Gwyneth chatted and laughed with Jay. Rita Ora attempted to fend off many an admirer. Adele was so keen to sit with team Jigga that even though therewere no seats available in the area she plonked herself down on the floor!. Mr Hudson wore an interesting jazz shoe and 3 quarter length trouser combo. Love Alexandra Burke but many were saying she needed to calm her hype as she wasclearly very over excitable in this room of her peers yet she was clearly not relaxed enough around them to just be cool. Early in the night when Jay and I were speaking I thought it only polite to introduce him to those standing eagerly next to me dying for him to simply acknowledge their existence. After he graciously shook hands with them al it was like the Obama effect with them all gushing and high with delight. One even kept exclaiming ‘’oh my gosh-his hands are so soft-its as if they’ve been bathed in silk!’’ LOL. One thing that was intriguing was that both Beyonce and Jay’s recently signed act Rita Ora were wearing practically the same red suit and high heels combo outfit and both flanked him when seated so it looked like a scene fresh out of an old blackspoitation movie. Expectedly there were a few music industry newbies and oldies who still hadn’t learnt that at a function like this its not very polite, credible or classy to stand around Bey and Jay like stalkers and gawp or try and get a picture. Before the party the record label folks had addressed their concern about guests that might do this not being of the right caliber and true to force, a few heads that managed to get in still forced their way into his space. Awkward and cringe.com. They’ll learn one day bless them.