excerpt from 'Southbank Centre Archive' (304 words)

excerpt from 'Southbank Centre Archive' (304 words)

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Southbank Centre Archive

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Lee Scratch Perry's Meltdown
Michael Franti & Spearhead, Sun Ra Arkestra & DJ Spooky
Fri 20th June 2003 8pm.  What a night! My friend and I turned up at 7.30pm into the venue entrance hall. Summer had arrived. We walked around taking in the sights & sounds of bustling of all the colourful people. This was going to be an awesome gig. My friend and I had only seen Michael Franti once. We catch an extremely tall dreddlocked guy walking around bare feet in his army cargo trousers and trademark white vest. Its Michael Franti. Most people in the crowd don't recognise him. Ha. My friend wanders up to him slightly spooked. Michael extends his hand and makes us both feel welcomed. He's brilliant. We then wander outside and there Michael is again playing football with his little son. Summer is here. We finally venture inside once Michael gets the call. The venue is buzzing with both colour - sights and sounds. The acoustics are brilliant! The venue is sold out and packed. Michael's imposing presence takes to the stage and his deep, soulful preachers voice booms out of the venues walls as if the venue is talking to us. And then his band (tight!) kicks in. The whole venue comes alive to the rumba sounds, the funk licks, the beat of the drum, all the fun of an outdoor festival takes everyone to another level. Swaying, bopping and smiles on everyone's faces lights up the venue further. Michael knows how to rock the house and gets everyone into the vibe, from rock to hip hop to rap to funk. The Royal Festival Hall has probably never had an artist like this in the house! This was my first memory of the festival hall...and Micheal Franti. What a night, what a venue.Peace out. Catch both if you can.

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