Review, A Philly Soul Summer Festival, Ronnie Scott’s, London by James Ellis

 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Natalie Williams’ Soul Family present: A Philly Soul Summer Festival

This first venture to Ronnie Scott’s would prove a triumph. Whilst queues to get in went down the street and the intimate interior was welcoming, it was all quite exciting. Natalie Williams’ Soul Family have been wowing for years for their end of year Motown shows, though here was a summery treat. This Philly Soul fest would be highly accessible, I knew most of the songs from what is essentially my mum’s ear of music.

Whilst some technical glitches early on prevented the family from continuing, a little break would iron out any problems and march onwards with the set. It was just a lovely, warm feeling from the players that caught me. Working my way back to you, Thinking of You and Could it be I’m falling in love was just a taste of over the over 20 song set for all of us to jam to. We were encouraged to dance for occasional numbers and some obliged. You could feel the chemistry between these musicians, Natalie as ring leader, with some piercing vocals and her ensemble of singers: Altia Moses, Vula and Brendan Reilly all getting knock out solos. This is a high calibre of singers, people.

I was also quite taken with Bust Your Windows by Jazmine Sullivan, a blazing, new discovery for me and a highlight of the night. Sat at the bar I was witness to the hustle and bustle of the serving staff who did not stoped for this entire set and prior to playing. It’s a bit tight at the bar if you sit and I was cracking a table proper, still I lost myself in this great concert. People around me were loving it and it was shut an all round good vibe. The band as well were world class, never a fault or flaw in it all. It was just great to see musicianship do what they love and share it with an audience.

I’d be delighted to come back soon.


ALITA MOSES – vocals
VULA – vocals
BEN JONES – guitar
DAN PEARCE – vocals/percussion

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