After meeting my cousin in Catford we set off in his car with the grin and excitement of little boys. Tonight was the hubbies night out and we were hitting the town….Enfield Town.
We were heading off to see MOBO award winning Queen of Gospel Lurine Cato in her own show.
It was raining, the traffic was heavy and we were determined. And besides, I wore my favourite blue suit and needed to see the Queen.
I was not prepared for what I saw and the experience will remain with me for the rest of my days.
The inimitable Isaiah Raymond Dyer was the compere and delivered with great skill and entertainment.
After the support act, Adam and Kid, Lurine made her entrance from behind me, and kind of gave the impression and I suppose symbolically that she was appearing from out of the people.
After being greeted from the start by her delightful and equally beautiful sister Marlene, it soon occurred to me that quality and organisation was the Standard Operating Procedure here. The musicianship, the backing singers, the dancers, the lights, the sound the change of costumes from Cato made you realise that this was not just an event, but an experience.
I am so pleased and equally proud that I attended this concert. It is historical and will certainly make the pages of ‘British Black Gospel 2nd Edition’.
Cato connected and conversed with the audience in a manner that I had not seen on any level of entertainment. She was in an auditorium, yet the dialogue and body language seemed as if she was in her front room. It is a personality trait that will make this lady a unique and successful performer for years to come.
Lurine Cato is a leader not a follower. Her brand of Gospel is refreshing, authentic, new and genuine. Lets face it, there are other contenders to her crown, but her landslide Mobo win and potentially huge cross-over market demographic will be hard to match.
In music terms she is an alternative power. Gospel in this country is described as underground but judging by tonight’s musical extravaganza, it is just beneath the surface. The British public have another sound that they can tap into and it just happens to be classified as gospel.
Lurine Cato, not only changed costumes but she showed the multi-talented facets of motivational speaker, teacher, preacher, diva and……mother.
The 2013 Mobo winner and indeed ambassador is taking British Gospel music into the 21st Century with a force, purpose, quality and determination I have never seen.
As I walked out of the Millfield Theatre, Edmonton, rain drizzle tickled my face and I had one thought on my mind…… “I think we have discovered that elusive link between the chasm that separates the followers of Gospel and Secular music”.
Steve Alexander Smith
Author: British Black Gospel
(Photo credited to Jude Linton)