The London African Gospel Choir bring joy (and Graceland) to The Assembly

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The London African Gospel Choir bring joy (and Graceland) to The Assembly


A change from my usual rock/blues gigs this one by the renowned gospel choir who had a full electric band as well as brass section to back them up at this performance.
The first half was a short selection mixing traditional African music with a little gospel and a fine appetiser for the main course which was of course Paul Simon's icon Graceland album performed in its entirety.
The ten vocalist covered the whole of the front of the spacious Assembly stage and made for both an aural and visual delight with a wide range of vocal ranges, plenty of dance work and especially with the ladies a selection of fabulous costumes.
Many of the vocalist took turn on lead and the band behind them definitely played their part with (if I counted correctly) 2 keyboard players, 2 guitarist, 2 drummers, bass player and that brass section along with of course the incredible vocals creating a fantastic, rich at many times joyous sound.
The big draw of the evening was of course the Graceland performance and they did not disappoint with standouts including the breathtaking multi-vocal acapella of ‘Homeless', a vibrant upbeat ‘Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes' and starting with surely some of the greatest ever opening lyrics "The Mississippi Delta was shining, Like a National guitar" a beautifully flowing ‘Graceland' itself.
To close it was an upbeat, full of life performance of that albums huge hit single ‘You Can Call Me Al' and a final piece of traditional African music.
They also managed to get the Sunday evening (can be difficult to get audiences firing on all cylinders with Monday on the horizon!) audience involved with boy/girl singing competitions on a couple of the Graceland tracks and there was plenty of dancing and swaying around the room.
A quality evening of music, dance and joy at the Assembly.

Andrew Lock


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