When Erykah Badu announced that she was returning to the UK in celebration of her inspiring debut album Baduizm turning 20 this year, here at Team Curtains had an array of questions; “will she lash?” “will she wear shoes on stage” “She has so many songs! What will she sing??” Our questions were completely masked by the sheer excitement of seeing the songstress for the first time in London since 2012.

 

The show, dubbed as her , kicked off with Harmonie Déja & UK soul singer Omar as openers. The ‘Nothing Like This’ singer engaged the audience with soothing vocal resonances over his neo-soul backing track, a great way to start the highly anticipated evening. It wasn’t long after listening to the DJ playing the best R&B, Soul and Commercial sounds that the four-piece band and three background vocalists emerged on the stage and tranced the five thousand capacity venue with a commanding intro and gradually Badu appeared on the stage donning a flowing patriotic sombrero with her signature hat.

 

 

The set began with a sweet rendition of ‘Hello’ from her 2015 mixtape But You Caint Use My Phone, before amalgamating into ‘Out My Mind Just In Time.’ Although Erykah Badu has not released a new studio album in five years, this did not in any way reflect in the quality or collection of songs she performed. Throughout the evening the 19 times-grammy award nominated artist took us back in time through effortlessly controlled vocals with minimal over-riffing but instead pure powerful vocals that excelled through some of her biggest hits including “On & On,” “Love of My Life,” “Next Lifetime” and “Time’s A Wasting.” Affirmations of her strong ethnic roots were visible in its entirety during the concert with videos of African tribal dancers and imageries of Queen Nefertiti and other black enriched images.

 

erykah badu

 

Minus the incredibly over-heated venue and minor technical difficulties, the concert, the Neoluv organised evening was a truly remarkable and confirmed Badu as one of the greatest live performers of our era. Let’s take another moment to appreciate that on the second night of her two-date tour, Friday, saw Ms. Fat Belly Bella bring out Talib Kweli & her ex- Common…

 

Thirsty?! #ErykahBadu waters down her fans & serves cake, during an onstage outfit change in London. @erykahbadu 💚

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Erykah may have been quiet on the music scene for a period but ladies and gentlemen… Ms Badu is back! Let’s home for an album to follow…

 

 

 

 

Written by Celestina Diamond / Photo By Sanaaabstrakt_art