The line up for the latest Live at the Roof Gardens had already set the night up to be one to remember, and the evening followed through with all the greatest expectations. The four acts that performed in the beautiful and exclusive Kensington Roof Gardens were utterly mind blowing, each bringing their own individuality and uniqueness to the stage as well as vocal performances that transformed the room into silence and captured the attention of even the loudest of groups.
The night was hosted by Jamie Howard who brought the whole show together and added a real comic edge to the evening, and the first act he introduced to the stage was fast growing Raheem Bakare who I have previously had the pleasure of reviewing. Raheem has a way about him that just has you transfixed to his whole performance. He started his set by singing a cover of Sam Smith’s #1 single “Stay With Me” and his version was utterly beautiful, and it was the perfect way to start the evening as the whole room was immediately mesmerized. Raheem looks and behaves like he belongs on stage as he just seems so calm and confident which makes his shows so enjoyable and relaxing to watch.
He also performed a cover of Awolnation’s “Sail” that I have since searched and searched for on You tube to no luck I’m afraid, but hopefully soon Raheem will give in to my demands and upload it somewhere so I can re-live that beautiful cover. Raheem has an amazing vocal range as well as having such smooth and soft tones, and he has only excelled since I last saw him live in April, which truly emphasizes how much potential this young star has. When he performed his own song “Portrait of Love“, it demonstrated not only his vocal excellence but his song-writing ability as well as his passion for music, and I look forward to the next time I get to see this fast rising star perform.
Next to grace the stage was Manchester’s own JJ Rosa who brought a whole new atmosphere to the room with her funkadelic sound and warming personality which was bursting with charisma. Signed to Warner. Bros Records and S-Curve Records, this lady was an absolute sensation to watch, her vocals blew me away, and contained an essence of Paloma Faith combined with Prince and the late Amy Winehouse, whilst still remaining true to herself and the array of uniqueness she demonstrates. Her tracks are so engaging with their catchy melodies and riffs, and her style of music which spans from Rock, Soul, Jazz and Pop whilst touching upon Blues and Hip Hop beats.
With all that combined, the outcome that it creates is this stunning sound that is impossible to hear without making you want to start dancing, even the oldest members of the audience were getting their two step on to tracks from her EP Live at the Deaf Institute. Her performance shone with sexiness and attitude and she completely owned the stage, playing the electric guitar with such profession and skill that any musician would be proud of. Her performance was completely tied together with the chemistry between herself, her bassist and drummer and it demonstrated the real star quality JJ has to offer.
Next onto the stage was the Pop and Funk Soul sound of Reading boy band The Parades who brought a new burst of energy on to the stage as well as an exceptional set list of self produced songs including tracks from their amazing 6 track project entitled Six. The Parades looked like a professional group of musicians that should be headlining arenas as they performed with so much attitude and style.
These boys have previously supported the Rogues on their UK Tour and are now working on their debut EP which should be released just in time for Summer, which without doubt means The Parades are going to be featuring on a whole load of playlists this summer. The band are quickly emerging onto the music scene and for a stand out reason, they have their own sound and its of a real high and unique quality, and they have the power to entertain an entire room which demonstrates just how passion and skill can work together to create pure class.
And finally the star of the show was announced onto the stage to a bellow of cheers and screams, and he walked on with such modesty armed with just his guitar and an absolute killer set of vocals. The singing song-writing genius JP Cooper was an absolute sensation on the stage, with his amazing mix up of musical genres that creates a unique musical blend combining the spirit of Gospel music, the smoothness of Neo-Soul, the passion and full rifts of Rock music, with an echo of R&B and Folk music that truly creates the most beautiful sound that should be the definition of authenticity. For one person to capture the attention of an entire room, accentuates just how much of a stand out artist JP Cooper really is. What is so remarkable about him is how cool and modest he remains, he doesn’t seem to realise just how mind blowing he actually is, which is so refreshing and just adds to his appeal.
The beauty of JP’s sound is all in his vocals and this was demonstrated perfectly throughout his set, where he sung songs from his selection of EPs. What I thought was already an over overwhelmingly professional and incredible live performance was topped over the edge when he performed a cover of the legendary Angie Stone’s “I Wish” that was utterly mind blowing, the song gave me chills and filled my entire body with emotion. He succeeded in silencing the entire room with his honestly haunting vocals and brought everyone to a state of complete admiration and awe.
JP Cooper is one incredible talent from Manchester which is a City already famous for its musical legends, and with the way things are quickly moving for JP Cooper, I can see that one day he will be among that lists of legends we speak of. So I think I can speak for everyone when I say a big thank you to Manchester.