At Hammersmith


Arguably the worlds biggest RnB quartet rocked London for the third consecutive night on Wednesday at the Carling Apollo on the final chapter of their Valentines week extravaganza, that in total saw almost 10,000 die-hard fans (about 80% female may I add!) watch in awe as the famous four, K-Ci, Jo-jo, Mr. Dalvin and not forgetting De-vante "what I really need is a bigger female following!" Swing, AKA "Jodeci" give one of their most memorable performances. The four guys from North Carolina, (not the kind of place where you'd necessarily associate with Rnb music) were in town for their first concerts in the UK for almost 11 years…

The supporting acts were the UK trio Fundamental who put in a tidy two track performance and this was followed up by Rnb crooner, and may I say, the very under-rated Donell Jones who combined a stack of his previous hits such as the stunning "This Love" the awesome "Why you gonna put me down" and the unforgettable mid-tempo hit "U know what's up" along with several cuts off his new album "Journey of a Gemini" due late March.

Soon after Choice FM's George Kay, requested a minutes silence from the packed audience following the tragic loss of the UK's very own Lynden David Hall, who had sadly passed away the day before having fought a long-term battle of a rare Cancer condition. This was followed by several appropriate songs from the DJ before the main act…

At 10pm George Kay then introduced the band we had all been waiting for and moments later, the huge black curtain that covered the stage thus far, fell revealing the full live band that were behind it… The sea of people watched in anticipation as a shining white spotlight shone in the middle of the stage revealing the shadows of the famous four behind a small white screen that was on top of a fictitious brick-wall as the deafening screams began… The shadows disappeared almost immediately as they were lowered to the ground and as the brick-wall opened, all 4 members of Jodeci burst onto the stage with smoke following them.

The crowd were sent into raptures as the group made their way to the front all clad in white vests and sporting army coloured jackets… Mr. Dalvin was blinging the most (as the pictures indicate!) and they sent the crowd wild by rapping over the instrumental of 50 Cent's infamous "In da club" before Mr. Dalvin led the way with the apt "Fun 2 nite" taken from their 3rd album "The show, the after party…" This led into green-eyed De-vante taking centre stage briefly, with his deep seductive voice, with the intro the mid/down beat killer "Feenin' from their second album "Diary of mad band," (The lyrics to the first verse especially on that record are incredible may I add) as K-Ci sung the vocals before his trademark ripping of the his vest, to which I thought, he really shouldn't do… for his own sake! However the ladies didn't seem to mind much… so we'll just leave it at that!

As the pandemonium of the crowd had finally set, they beltef out their most famous commercial hit "Freek'n you" before the lights dimmed and the only people visible on stage were K-ci and Jojo as they sang the first verse and chorus to their most famous ballad, the tear-jerking "All my life."

After a brief intermission, Devante decide to give the live band a rest, and jumped onto the keyboards while brother Dalvin hot footed onto the drums… K-ci and Jo-jo then came back and belted out the Stevie Wonder classic "Lately." This for me was the best part of the show, as not only is it one of my favourite songs, but also showcased that Jodeci really are a group of true musicians in every sense of the word, separating them from the rest of the other groups out there in todays modern world of Rnb. They followed this up with the mid-beat "What about us" when Jojo took the honours for his awesome vocals.

Following on from here, his brother K-Ci took centre stage and had his moment with the crowd, explaining that Jodeci had in fact never "broken up" as such but they had merely taken a longer than intended break but vowed that this wouldn't happen again! He also stated that his favourite Jodeci song was the title track to their debut 1991 set "Forever my lady" to which he duly sung his heart out. This led straight into a personal favourite of yours truly, the mid/upbeat "Come and talk to me." A song that any male can relate to, be it a teenager or a grown adult, who has a crush for a certain lady but just doesn't quite have the courage to make that initial conversation. Another classic followed the downbeat "Stay" before a final costume change.

They returned with Devante inviting 3 ladies onto the stage before teasing them with the opening lines to the spine-tingling "Cry for you" as the harmonies from all 4 members continued at the awesome chorus, before an extended version at the end "Baby I'm begging…" went on for several minutes as they waved goodbye to the crowd…"

The encore was the remix to the upbeat "Get on up" before Mr Dalvin took his moment with the crowd expressing his appreciation and dedicated the final track "Love U 4 Life" to all those present as the four took a bow and curtain called at around 11.15.
So there we had it… these four lads from North Carolina had to coin a phrase "came, saw, and boy oh boy did they conquer!"… Jodeci were well and truly back… roll on album number 4.. Due out autumn this year!

Jas Kalra