Jazzie B of Soul II Soul returns to scene of first gigs

07:47 18 June 2012

Jazzie B starts a residency at Electric Brixton

Jazzie B starts a residency at Electric Brixton


Free tickets offered to launch of Jazzie B’s new night at Electric Brixton

The musical force behind seminal dance/R’n’B outfit Soul II Soul is returning to the venue where they cut their teeth with a new night.

Soul II Soul founder Jazzie B is going back to Electric Brixton on Friday (June 22) to launch a new residency – and recapture the magic of their glory days at the very place where they performed their first gigs.

That was back when it was The Fridge and before the pioneering hit-makers exploded onto the music scene in the late 1980s with monster tunes Back to Life (However Do You Want Me) and Keep on Movin.

Producer and DJ Jazzie, who hosts the Back II Life radio show on BBC London, said: “There’s a hell of a lot of history there. We’re going back to a place we were last at some 20 years ago, when it was like a home from home.”

With impeccable timing, the launch will follow the unveiling of a plaque in Soul II Soul’s honour at Electric Brixton on Thursday, by industry body the Performing Right Society, to recognise its unique place in the band’s history.

Reminiscing about the club nights they hosted there in the 1990s, Jazzie said: “The energy at those events was incredible – a really mixed crowd would gather and the main purpose was to really let go and dance. There was no room for standing on the side-lines – it was an experience.”

He added: “There’s a gap in the market for the type of soul music that we have been involved with and that’s the vibe we’re trying to create, it’s something for us to revel in a little bit. A bit of nostalgic happy music for the older heads and something interesting for the next generation.”

The north Londoner, who grew up in Hornsey and went to school in Holloway, will be joined by long-time collaborator Caron Wheeler, whose distinctive vocals on Soul II Soul’s biggest hits helped propel them to the top of the charts, while 1980s R’n’B act Loose Ends will also take to the stage.

The launch comes after Electric Brixton underwent a rebirth of its own when it reopened following a £1million makeover last September, after shutting down under its former guise in 2010.

* The first two people to e-mail “I want to see Jazzie B” to islingtongazette.news@archant.co.uk will win a pair of free tickets to the night. For more information visit www.soul2soul.co.uk and www.electricbrixton.com.

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