Back in the day, I remember attending parties at a friend’s home in Brixton. Sadly, he is of blessed memory now, but whenever I arrive at Brixton tube station, I remember the fun times I had at his house, getting blotto on beverages and stimulants (of various sorts). His home was very close to Brixton Academy, so I somehow associate going to see him with memories of great gigs I saw in that venue.
For example, Grace Jones performed there, after not doing shows in London for many years. I didn’t get to see Ms Jones doing her “One Man Show” and this was her first appearance in London after that. In the heydays of the Black Rock Coalition, I saw Fishbone, Living Colour and Ice T’s Body Count, all at The Academy. Brixton will always be a good time place in my mind.
When I returned to leading bands after a nine year hiatus, I started with a small residency in a Nigerian restaurant on Cold Harbour Lane. We had a great time playing my songs and entertaining friends who came from far and wide to eat Jollof rice and Dodo (fried plantain, for those who don’t know).
Everything was going swimmingly with our residency, until the day that some youngsters in the area had a clash with the police. Some of our friends had their car windscreens smashed and one person (who happened to have an afro hairstyle) went home to bed and woke up in the morning to find shards of glass falling out of his hair.
Yes, Brixton can be racy, but it can also accommodate folks from all walks of life. I even sang in a classical song recital at Longfield Hall this summer. I’m hoping that my London based friends will join me for a great time at that same venue (on Knatchbull Road, SE5 9QY) for my performance of my new piece – Afonja’s Minstrel – on Saturday, November 3rd at 7.30 pm.