Families from the north-west London borough of Brent and the surrounding boroughs were treated to a free edu-tainment concert which told the story of African British history from the 1948 arrival of the Empire Windrush with its Caribbean immigrants, which included calypso singer Lord
Kitchner, to a re-jigged version of grime rapper Bashy’s 2008 hit ‘Black Boys’.
The Songs Of Life, Survival & Empowerment Concert, which took place last Friday at Bridge Park Complex in
Stonebridge, was produced by Brent-based BTWSC’s Roots To Branches. Funded with support from Arts Council England, the concert attracted a truly inter-generational audience, varying from toddlers to grandparents.
In addition to a band which featured soul singer Noel McKoy and noted guitarist Alan Weekes, there were guest artists like soul singer Don-e, rapper Kof, and gospel singer Neresa Maye, plus Black Music Congress founder Kwaku, who led an inter-linking sketch with two young “radio studio guests”.
“Excellent showcase for young talent. Very enjoyable. Very hard not to get up and dance. It must be repeated,” said
Ann John, councillor for Stonebridge. Another Brent resident, Bashy’s mum Sandra Coker, who attended with Bashy’s
grandmother and other family members, added: “It was lovely. I enjoyed the ‘Black Boys’ version the band played.”
BTWSC plans to deliver three Roots To Branches themed live concerts in London in 2009.