The show just went on...
Singer Andrea Jeremiah launched her solo career with a concert in the city
VOICE WITH VERVE Andrea Jeremiah
It's a little like warm, golden honey.
Andrea Jeremiah has a remarkable voice: full, fervent and throaty. So it's only natural that she decided to launch herself with a solo concert, backed by the city's most talented musicians and vocalists.
Getting them together was a casting coup. Keith Peters was her bass guitarist, with Donan Murray on guitar. Maynard Grant was on drums and percussion and Cresswell David on acoustic piano. Shyam Benjamin on keyboards, Prabhu George on violin and V.R. Sekar on the cello. She also managed to get Mathew, from Auroville, to play the saxophone.
The line up of guest artistes was equally impressive: Arjun Thomas and Samsy Philip performing the male vocals, Neil Mukherjee as the guitarist and Anil Srinivasan on the piano.
So, at 7 p.m., when the concert was slated to begin, it looked like half the city was at the Museum Theatre, brandishing tickets. Which was perfect, except for one small hitch. They were all outside.
Once the audience was finally let in and filtered to their seats, the emcee cheerfully announced they had decided to wait for the "people stuck in traffic" to reach. (Honestly, could all you "people stuck in traffic" out there please stay on your couches and watch TV instead of plaguing the lives of theatregoers who actually possess watches?)
Andrea finally began with a fabulous rendition of "You make me feel like a natural woman." She followed it with the well-loved "Somewhere over the rainbow," and then just kept going, choosing songs rich in melody and stamping each one with her personal brand of style, with twists, twirls and delicious long notes.
However, after about six solos, it began to get a little monotonous. A little like six helpings of decadent chocolate soufflé. No matter how good it is, you eventually get satiated. Andrea needs to work on introducing variety perhaps by letting her guest vocalists see a little more of the stage lights next time and learn how to involve the audience. Although she's a great singer, she still has a long way to go before she becomes a great performer.
Her guest vocalists, by the way, were excellent. Arjun Thomas was greeted with whoops of joy by the audience, and was mesmerising on stage, even though he performed just a few songs, most of them duets. He and Samsy Philip injected a healthy helping of joie de vivre to the performance with their bouncy rendition of "Sweet Potato Pie."
The show also included a surprisingly good original song and a couple of haunting duets, including "Sorry seems to be the hardest word" by Andrea and Arjun.
The concert was organised by The Show Must Go On (TSMGO productions), a company launched by Andrea to promote live art and artistes in the city. Judging by this maiden venture, which was meticulously put together and industriously worked upon, the show will indeed go on, and do so determinedly. Hopefully growing from strength to strength.
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