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Long live the ‘90s!

GIRL POWER: SWV

I RECENTLY made it my mission to watch the R&B Superstars show at HMV Hammersmith Apollo, which featured a classic lineup of ‘90s stars Silk, Dru Hill, Ginuwine, and female trio SWV.

I was looking forward to going anyway but after hearing that morning that the legendary Whitney had passed away, I felt I needed to be around like-minded music lovers to commemorate the day and remember her positively.

As expected throughout the show the DJs played Whitney classics and the audience sang her lyrics at the tops of their voices. It’s the old adage played out true that even if a person did, at times, experience troubles, we still cherish them as one of our own.

Whitney was a musical inspiration to generations of would-be singers and young women of colour. So sad. I wanted to sing loud at the concert to honour her memory.

The show was clearly well organised as all acts were on time and came on immediately after one another, with no long waiting around or general shabbiness that is sometimes associated with these shows.

Silk sounded great and Dru Hill were amazing! Their voices are still as strong as ever. As ever, Sisqo was a strong focal point, but it was Jazz and Woody that really showed off their booming vocals prowess. They weren’t as energetic on that unforgettable Tell Me dance, but they more than made up for it with their pipes!

Ginuwine, who I’ve never been a massive fan of, (in my MTV days, when interviewing him, I recall him being very effeminate and a bit full of himself in a comical manner), had the ladies in a frenzy. He looked a little too throwback with his white jeans and shirt combo, but he sang well.

I wish this was my lasting memory of his performance, but all I recall is his bitterness at not being the night’s final act, which he moaned about onstage a few times. So unprofessional!

The headliners, SWV looked and sounded great. Their voices were strong and they sung all their hits. The only negative thing in their set was that they had left their own backing vocals off their backing track, making their set feel a little flatter than the previous acts.

The after party in the venue’s upstairs bar was nice, with a selection of grown folks drinking and reminiscing with the acts. All in all, it was a great night, showing that R’n’B certainly isn’t dead. Apparently there are lots more exciting shows to come from them in 2012 so keep updated at www.urbanartsent.com

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BOWLING BABES

LAST WEEK saw me celebrating MOBO founder Kanya King’s birthday with a bit of dinner and spot of bowling with a small group of her closest friends. It turned out they were all fiercely competitive on the bowling alley.

Trident Advisory Board chairwoman Claudia Webbe showed she puts as much effort keeping her eye on the ball and striking down those pins as she does at work and won the session, whilst lovely TV news presenter Ronke Philips was happy to just bowl her best alongside Kanya and the rest. Kanya’s actual birthday was on the Sunday – the day that Whitney passed – so Kanya and I spent most of the day speaking to broadcasters like BBC and LBC about her legacy. RIP Whitney.

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BEAUTY STOP

I ENDED the week at one of my favourite spots The Beauty Lounge for a facial with celeb facialist Nuz Shugaa (right). She told me she was giving me a facial great for jet setters “as travelling can cause skin to have fatigue and look aged.” Eek! With the amount of travelling I’ve done, my skin is lucky it’s not looking 100 years old right now!

Many people like a nice quiet facial where they can nod off. I prefer to engage in the experience and ask a million questions about what’s being plastered all over my skin. Firstly, after getting my kit off and lying in the aromatic relaxing room, my skin was cleansed with organic palm of coconut, aloe vera, sugar crystals, bamboo powder and co-enzyme gel for a super deep cleanse.

Next, papaya, oatmeal and manuka honey was bespoke to my facial needs and used to exfoliate and clear my dead dry skin cells. (You know, I refused to believe I had any dry dead cells as my nightly cleansing regime is close to a scientific laboratory session).

Finally, Nuz told me something that had me laughing away at product PR teams and their gimmick names. She announced “and now I am applying to you dragon’s blood gel. This forms a clear shield on your skin to plump and hide fine lines.” Oh how I laughed as I skipped out of her parlour laden down with a bag of lovely new products to try out! They’ll come in really handy, as I’m now off to Caribbean Fashion Week to have dinner with the icon that is Grace Jones!

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