Bristol Old Vic

A Change is Gonna Come

Comedy_and_tragedy_masks_without_backgro

July 2019

Music for human rights

Virtuoso multi-award-winning American soul singer, Carleen Anderson, took the Bristol Old Vic stage by storm on Sunday, July 21, with a stellar musical cast for a night of classic protest songs.

Accompanying her were pianist Nikki Yeoh; Mobo-nominated saxophonist Camilla George; MC rapper Lady Sanity; drummer Rod Young and bass guitarist Rennell Shaw.

The band put their own twist on the iconic works to a packed audience of Gil Scott-Heron, Woodie Guthrie, John Coltrane, Nina Simone, Odetta and of course, the classic Sam Cooke’s soothing, poignant song the show is named after A Change is Gonna Come.

My 15-year-old daughter, loved Lady Sanity’s rapping rendition of Gil Scott-Heron’s acclaimed and brilliant The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, to which she took the classic song and gave it a 21st century urgency.

Texan-born Anderson, struggled courageously on with a cold, so there were the inevitable battles with some notes but her gritty, rising-from-the-middle-earth voice took the audience by the throat and they loved it.

The protest songs, look to the past, the present and as Anderson mentioned she wanted an extra ‘When is’ added to A Change Is Gonna Come.

Cooke wrote the song in 1964 when the vote was still to be given to people of colour and not long after, Marti Luther King, gave his I Have A Dream’ speech. Both were shot not long after.

Pianist, Nikki Yeoh, who held the team together, sometimes played so fast her hands were a blur to behold and how she managed to play with her elbows and whole arms, I have no idea.

She’s twice scooped Best Jazz Musician of the Year, led her own band and played with Courtney Pine, The Roots and Neneh Cherry.

Just amazing to see and hear such a stunning performer.

London-based, smooth and groovy saxophonist and composer, Camilla George, blends Afrofuturism, hip hop and jazz and I’m going to buy her album which looks at tales passed on to future generations.

It was a social, often harsh, history lesson and peek in to the future with Anderson and Sanity bookending songs superbly supported by world-class musicians.

Melanie Greenwood

Solidarity Sisters sing in support of Nazanin

A haunting song written and performed by a big group of people who've come together as the Solidarity Sisters, in support of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and her family.

It was recorded at Holy Trinity church, Nailsea with Wendy Martineau and we thought appropriate to add to this page.

Please keep this terrible miscarriage of justice in the limelight - Iran, please free Nazanin immediately and let her be reunited with her family #FreeNazanin.

SONG FOR NAZANIN

VERSE 1
Your pain we cannot know
As you look up to the skies
And your mind goes where it goes
In the long and lonely nights
But many people around the world
Are joined in solidarity
And we’ll keep singing, we’ll keep singing
Until you’re free

CHORUS
There’s a light on in a window
On a dark and stormy night
We’re standing up for justice
And we won’t give up the fight
So hear our voices singing
In spirit with you, we will remain
Until you’re free, until you’re free
Safe home again

VERSE 2
For all who are unfree
Imprisoned without fair trial
Robbed of so many things
So much laughter, so many smiles
But we won’t forget your pain
And we join in solidarity
And we’ll keep singing, we’ll keep singing
Until you’re free

Photo PA.png

PHOTO: PA