Friday, March 25, 2011

We're on Our Way Home : Day 8 [Part 13]

We're on Our Way Home: Leaving London

I can’t remember if Jeff took a short nap or what, but his cab was there to pick him up at about 4:30am. We made sure he had everything and we said farewell until we would meet again in New York later that night. Remember Jeff flew directly to London, but I had to go back to Paris and then back to New York.

I finished packing and took a short nap. Kevin and Michelle said they would take me to the train in the morning on their way to drop their daughter off at school. It was early enough that I would have plenty of time to get to the airport to catch my flight.

I can’t exactly remember which train station they took me to, but I had to take three trains to get to my Heathrow that day, but they took me a bit closer than if I had taken the Overground from where they were. I can’t remember if they took me to an Overground station or to a rail station. I can’t even really remember the rout I took to the airport. I was so tired that morning. All I know is that I ended up either at Hammermith or Earl’s Court to make a switch. I think it was Earl’s Court. Either way at that point I switched for the Piccadilly Line to Heathrow. Now remember there are a couple of trains that go to Heathrow. One train is for Terminal 1,2,3 & 4 and another for 1,2,3, & 5. I was so happy to see the later come when I was on the platform waiting to make the switch. I was dog tired. I mean just beat down, but I was almost there.

I got to Terminal 5 and prepared myself for whatever Heathrow might throw at me. If you remember I took the train in to London from Paris, but I decided to fly back for one major reason. I had to go back through Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris fly back home because that’s how I came in with Burnt Sugar. So on the return home I booked myself a flight on British Airways back to Paris, then I wouldn’t have to spend money to get form the center of Paris (if I had taken the train) to the airport. Now I just had to get to the proper terminal at Charles de Gaulle to catch my return flight that the Sugar crew booked me. Okay, now let’s see how Heathrow security is going to act on this day. When I got to British Airways check-in counter there was no line. I couldn’t believe this happened to me twice. First when I was flying into Paris from JFK at the Air France counter and now this. Wow. So I checked my bag, kept my bass on my back, plus my purse on my shoulder and I headed to the security line. First of all it wasn’t all that long, which was amazing, but I was checking out the security officer on the line I was in and I could tell she was tired and cranky. So I knew anything could happen with her. It wasn’t like I was carrying anything…oh wait…I had the damn screwdriver in my bass case. I forgot to take it out. Oh well, I was at the airport in plenty of time. If they took it I still would not miss my flight. So as the line is moving I notice that they take her off her post and replace her with someone else. Okay! So when I got to the front of the line I did as you do at the airport these days and everything was fine. No questions about anything. Not even the screwdriver, which I was surprised about because Heathrow can be crazy.

On the other side of security I put my shoes, coat, etc., on and headed downstairs to wait for my first flight. I was there so early that a gate hadn’t even been assigned to my flight. So I walked around and looked at the duty free stuff. It always amazed me how much of a mall that airport is. I got myself an overpriced souvenir because I needed to get rid of my Pound coins since I couldn’t exchange them back in the states. I got a pretty terrible sandwich at Pret a Manger, who by the way is taking over London. There are more Pret’s than Starbucks and you know that’s saying a lot! Then I found a place to chill until my gate showed up on the board.

If you are a smoker, it's your LUCKY day!
Sleepy in Heathrow.

Soon my flight popped up and I headed to the gate to sit there and wait until they called boarding. Again I have to mention how they board in Europe. It’s just so great. They call that the flight is ready for boarding and people get on. No calling of sections or things like that. Folks just get on the plane! LOL!  So I boarded my B.A. flight, put my bass in the overhead and it fit without any problem and settled in for this first leg.

Wing of my British Airways Flight
Flying form London to Paris is really fast. It might have been an hour maybe. So we were up and down quickly. I barely got a nap before we were landing. Since this was not a true connecting flight, I had to go pick up my luggage from baggage claim in Paris and then figure out how to get to Air France from where I was.

After getting my bag off the carousel, I found an information desk to ask how to get to terminal 2E. Since I was already in Terminal 2 I just had to take a long walk to 2E. I so glad I didn’t have to get on the airtrain to get to the terminal, which I totally thought I was going to have to do. I started walking and before I knew it I was at Air France check-in. Again there was barely a line. I knew I would be early for my flight, but I still didn’t expect that. I had already printed out my boarding pass so the woman at the counter checked my bag and I headed for Air France security.

The line wasn’t so bad, but I wasn’t sweating anything now that I was in Paris. I was almost home. When my turn came up I do the usual and walk through the metal detector, but this time they pulled my bass off the belt and asked if it was mine. “Yes, it’s mine.” They needed to look inside. Well, there goes my screwdriver. It made it from Brooklyn to Paris to London, but it wasn’t going to make it back to Brooklyn. Oh well. No worries. They took the contraband and gave me back my bass. Almost home.

I was mad early for that flight. I wasn’t scheduled to leave until about 7:30pm, and after going through security it was only about 4pm. So I had lots of time to kill. I didn’t have many Euros left. So I got a little snack, but I wasn’t worried because I knew they were going to feed us well on Air France and I’d have some wine!

Charles de Gaulle Airport Air France Terminal
Me & my bass on the last leg. Heading Home.

I sat in the terminal and thought about the days gone by. What a journey. From performing in Paris with Burnt Sugar and hanging out with my parents there; then off to London and the crazy housing situation, meeting up with Jeff, and playing some incredible shows; seeing London in a day and just having lots of laughs. I couldn’t help but look around and see the Burnt Sugar crew in my minds eye sitting with me in the Paris Airport. It made me smile. They were the reason I was there. I took a few pics of my tired self in the airport and before I knew it, it was time to board.

E 41 My Gate!
I didn’t get a window seat on the way back, but they did hold my bass for me again. This flight was challenging because it was so dry on the plane, but I later realized I was coming down with something. Honestly I think my body was just winding down so it was slowly trying to break down. The charge was over…for now. I drank so much water on that flight and could not get hydrated for anything. I was in and out of sleep the whole trip and when we were landing I thought my ears would explode. I hadn’t had that feeling in a long time.

When we landed and went through customs I could hardly hear the agent talking to me. That’s how clogged my ears were. It felt crazy. I felt like I was under water talking to people. It was strange to be home at least strange to come through customs in the U.S. Of the three places I had been (France, UK and America) only America was feeding nationalist propaganda at it’s visitors when they get off of plane. I mean as soon as you hit customs they might as well just hand you the lyrics to the National Anthem and make you sing it on the spot, with feeling! It was so crazy to see the TV screens with all the American “stuff” on it. I’m happy to be home as much as the next person, but it was all so much.

After I cleared customs and went to the ladies, I headed to baggage claim. I got my things and headed out to catch a cab when I see Jeff waiting for me with flowers! It was Valentine’s Day after all. Very sweet. We were back home. Back in New York and back to the everyday things of life, but what a time we had. What a time we had.

Thank You to everyone who came out to support us in London and all those who took the time to read this oversized blog. Love to Jeff who crossed the pond with me and represented the NY büshe. Love to LyricL who was my shining light in London. Love to Michelle & Kevin for opening their home at the 11th hour. Love to Adam and the Jazz Re:freshed crew for making their house mine. Love to the Morpheus Soul show for continuing to shout us out. Love to Up all Night Music and Native Tongue for saying yes and showing your love. Love to the UK blaKbüshe band. Love to the fox totems that kept showing up. It is my hope to get back to London soon after I release my next album this summer.

If you like what you read please be a part of making the album happen so we can go back to Europe and beyond. Check out my IndieGoGo campaign and be one of the hairs in the büshe. Thank you so much! Now on to the “Can a Girl Catch a Break? New Album Blog! Whoo Hoo!

London in a Day! Day 7 [Part 12]

London Day 7

Sunday Morning and it’s raining, but that wasn’t going to stop us. We had one day to see the City. Jeff spoke to his friend Ryan who suggested we hit a certain section so that we would catch a bunch of things at once and maximize our day. So we hit it and did much of it under the clouds, but it was great!

Ryan told Jeff that we should take the Tube to Charing Cross and walk around from there because it’s right near Piccadilly Circus and lots of other sites. So that’s what we did. I think that morning we walked to Anerley and took the Overground to Canada Water on the Jubilee Line. Then we took that to Waterloo and changed for the Northern Line to Charing Cross. When we got out we were right near the gate that leads to Buckingham Palace so we decided to start there. As we were walking down that long road that leads to the palace we could hear drumming. The next thing we know we see what looks like the royal marching band coming around the corner. Turns out we had just missed the changing of the guard. Damn! Oh well. We had no idea what time that was happening so I guess you can’t really miss something if you were never on your way to it.

We kept walking toward the palace and of course there was a big crowd around it. If I were the Queen I wouldn’t want to spend too much time at that spot. Personally I would need people to get off my porch! That’s just too much. LOL.

We joined the crowd in taking photos and looking at the sculpture of Queen Victoria and the Roman soldiers that is right in front of the palace. This was the first time I really looked at the statue and all the other sculptures in the area. It really tells the history of London for better for worse. There are lots of references to Africa out there. I’m sure those are the things that people miss when visiting. Who want to think about that right? Well, it’s all there folks. Just look closely.

The Royal Homestead
Check out Medusa on the shield

The handsome Queen Victoria (lol)
After checking that out for a while we walked back up the road back toward where we came from, but decided to head toward Big Ben so we took a right and headed through a courtyard that turned out to be back of the Cavalry Museum. We didn’t go in, but we did have to walk under the museum archway to get back to main road where there were two men on horses “standing guard” in Cavalry gear. Okay, they were in uniform. There were lots of folks standing in front of the Mounties taking photos of their family and friends next to the horses. I will admit that I took a photo of the man on the horse as you can see below, but I couldn’t help thinking about the man and the horse while I was taking it. What a job!
I love the sign!
WWII Women's Memorial. I just loved that there was one for the women!

We walked down the street toward Big Ben and Westminster Abbey, when we realized we were right in front of 10 Downing Street, where the Prime Minster resides. Cool! We kept walking toward Ben and then there he was in our face. Jeff asked me to take a photo of him there. I think that was sort of his Eiffel Tower moment. From there we walked down the road to check out Parliament and then across the street to the Abbey. We couldn’t get in to either so we just took it in from the outside. That walked reminded me of when I did it the first time with Achuziam, Shawn, Lionel & Irv. It was just as good the second time around. Across from the Abbey there is a statue park of sorts. Along with a statue of Winston Churchill there was a statue of Nelson Mandela. There were other folks there too, but I can’t remember who they were. Really I was just trying to figure out how Mandela fit in to it all, but hey, I’ll talk take it!

Jeff & Ben
What are yo doing here Mr. Mandela?

After checking all that out Jeff wanted to go see the Tower Bridge, which was a train ride away. So we decided to find something to eat first and then jump on the train and head east to the Tower of London and the Bridge. We took a short walk and found ourselves by the Embankment Tube station. There were a few restaurants over there so we stopped, ate and then we were supposed to head to the Tower, but we decided to head toward Piccadilly first.

A rainy London day with Ben in the distance

London Eye
We start walking that way when, we were stopped in our tracks by the National Portrait Gallery and we have to go in! It’s only right and Paula would demand it. LOL.

So we went in and looked around for a bit. We decided to just do one floor because we could have been in there for hours and we didn’t have hours. Unlike the Lourve on the day I was in Paris, the folks at the Portrait Gallery were not having photos being taken at all. Jeff pulled out his phone and started to shoot a portrait of Paul McCartney and BAM, this woman popped up out of nowhere to shut him down! They were not having it. LOL. There is a really amazing portrait of Princess Diana in gallery among other great paintings, but that one really stood out for me. After being there for about 45 minutes we decided to head out. We walked toward Piccadilly and stopped at a store that Jeff saw a cool Marilyn Monroe picture in (I love Marilyn) to check it out. After seeing it and finding out it’s crazy price, we decided to skip Piccadilly and head back to the Tube and to the Tower Bridge. So we walked back to Charing Cross and got on the District or the Circle Line to Tower Hill. Now I don’t know which train we got on because there was all kinds of construction going on and we had to take one train because the other wasn’t running and it was a little hectic. Ah…just like New York!

We got to Tower Hill we checked out the Tower of London. Now I had been there before, but for the first time I think I was really starting to understand the history of the place and saw how intricate it is or was. We didn’t get to go on the tour, but next time I’ll make that happen. Jeff just wanted to see the bridge because it was his screen saver for the last few months so that he could manifest the trip. Well it worked and there we were.

Jeff at Tower Bridge

We hung out in the area for a while, but I was trying to catch some vintage gear or at least some cheap gear near a spot LyricL hipped me to. Let me break it down a bit in the clothes area. I didn’t really come to London to shop, but I came to London with a coat that I wanted to leave there. Yes, my plan was to get a new coat and leave my old one in London. You ever had a piece of clothing that you never want to see again? That’s how I felt about my coat. LyricL said we should head over the Liverpool Street as there was a huge outdoor market there on Sunday’s. That was great because we were meeting all the folks at the Vibe Bar on Brick Lane that night for LyricL’s show and that wasn’t too far from the Liverpool Street station.

Now this is where things get crazy. The plan should have been simple. Take the Circle Line from Tower Hill to Liverpool Street, but of course the trains were not acting right on that rainy Sunday. So what should have been a two-stop trip turned into many more and lots of walking. For some reason the Circle Line wasn’t going in our direction so we had to go back backwards. We took the Circle Line back on stop to Monument. Then we had to walk the long underground road from Monument to Bank. Now these stations connect, but it’s a like an over the river and through the woods connection. At Bank we took the Central line one stop to Liverpool Street. Now I know this doesn’t sound so bad on paper, but riding and walking it I knew that we were not going to make it to see be able to shop. It was all just taking too long.

Just for laughs
I just call it the Bullet *wink*
By the time we got off at Liverpool Street the sun and by the time we found the street market everyone had closed down. There were just a few vendors taking frames of their tents down. I was a kind of bummed about that, but there was nothing I could do. So we kept walking and asked someone how to get to Brick Lane and we were actually right down the street, which was good. So Jeff and I headed that way and decided to find something to eat since one of the many things that we were going to do was eat Indian food in London. Why was that on the list? Because the last time I was there Irv and I ate at this spot that changed my life! But that spot was near Hammersmith and on Brick Lane the Indian restaurants are on every corner and everywhere in between.

So we started walking down the street looking for a spot when we stumbled upon an indoor flea market that was still open and it was almost right next to the Vibe Bar, which was ultra convenient. Jeff and I went in and immediately I saw all of these things that I could potentially purchase, but I didn’t want to be to hasty. We looked at some things that the vendor right when you walk in had, but soon we kept it moving. There was some really cool stuff in there, but I was in search of a coat. Then I found it, but it was £185! Way out of my budget. But I took a picture of it because a girl can dream.

My Foxy Cleopatra dream coat!
After walking around for a while, we left, went one more spot and then decided to eat. Picking a restaurant almost turned out to be a real drama. Here in NY there is a street in the East Village called 6th Street. On 6th almost the entire block is Indian restaurants. So when you walk down the street, especially in the spring or summer, you can expect to be called to by various different folks to come into their restaurant. Well the same thing happened to us on Brick Lane and it was a little unnerving when you just want to sit down and eat. I won’t get into all that. I’ll just say that we found a spot, ate and then headed over to the Vibe Bar. Sadly that food wasn’t as amazing as the other spot I had been too, but I’m glad we did it. It was on the To Do list. Done!

We headed to the Vibe Bar and some folks were there already. LyricL was there, but I figured that since she was performing. Johnny was there, Bunny Bread was on the DJ set and a cat named F. Stokes from New York via Chicago, was rhyming when we came in and he was doing it! I was standing talking to LyricL when a Cyndi came up to greet us. Cyndi run a record store/clothing store in Brixon called United 80 and I was supposed to meet her earlier that day or the day before, but we never could get it together. She wanted to put my CDs in her record store. She was so sweet and gave LyricL and I both mustard scarves, which was really sweet. She is one half of the manVSwife DJ crew the Hands On Family. Yes it’s a husband and wife DJ team. Now that’s cool.

Bunny Bread on the set
LyricL & Chippy

Bunny is on Fire! (HA!)

After F. Stokes finished his set there was a bit of break in the action. At that point other folks started so show up. First Yvonne, then Hannabiell & Yilis, then Rob & Kat, then Kelli, Max and Ten Mill. Later on down the line was my friend Michael and then John showed up with one of his friends. Yeah! Much of the gang was all there.

Jeff & Kelli's High School Reunion!
John & Jeff

Me & Bunny
Yilis, Hannabiell & Max

We all chilled and talked and then it was time for LyricL to do her thing! She burned up that set. It was amazing! It was so nice to see her do her own show since she had been helping me out on vocals etc. all week. Power to her once again for all the love she showed me all week. After Lyric’s set Bunny spun for a while again and then it was time for Homeboy Sandman.

Love the Action in this shot

Now, I heard about this brotha since before I arrived in London because Johnny told about him. I listened to a couple of the Morpheus Soul podcasts with Homeboy on them and he was amazing on the show, but in person it was FIRE! Damn! I might have said this before, but I’ll say it again. Hip-Hop Lives! F. Stokes, LyricL and Homeboy Sandman proved that for sure. Bunny Bread too because he was killing the set!

Homeboy Sandman Killin' it!

After the show ended we all hung out for a while and took photos. Talked and laughed until it was time to say our farewells. It was hard to say goodbye, but I didn’t cry. It was too good a week to cry. John had given Jeff and I the time of the last trains heading to Anerley. Luckily we were right down the street from the Overground so it was a straight shot. I don’t remember what time he told us we could catch the train, but then I got a call from him saying that he thought he got the times wrong and that he was probably on the last train going to Crystal Palace, which would go by Anerley. So with that, we really said our goodbyes and headed to the train as fast as we could. If you remember, the last time we thought we wouldn’t make it all the way home we actually made it because another train came to take us further south. John told us to call him if we could only get so far and he would give me back the money I gave him to play the gig so we could catch at cab! [Angel 14] What?? He told me he wasn’t expecting to get paid so if we needed it he would give it back. Amazing.

Vibe Crew

So Jeff and I got to the Shoreditch High Station on the Overground and Jeff needed to top up his Oyster as the train was coming in the station and I think it was the last one. So one of the folks working at the station just let us through because otherwise we wouldn’t have made it. We ran up the steps and caught the train. Okay one leg down. We didn’t even know where it was stopping, but we had to get on. So we rode for a while and I was praying that the train would go at least as far as New Cross Gate, but alas it only went to New Cross. Not the same at all folks. So we got off and I called John. It just so happened he was at a pub right down the street from the station. I love it. So he came down and scooped us up and we walked back to the pub where he was hanging and called us a cab. He wanted us to hang and we would have, but Jeff had to leave for the airport at 5am so there was no time to hang. I was already close to or past Midnight.

It took the cab driver a minute to find us, but then he showed up. We said our final farewell to John and then headed back to Anerely.

Jeff still had a bit of packing to do and he was going to take a cab to the airport because his flight was too early in the morning to be messing with the train and it would have taken too long. He also realized that he needed to be at the airport earlier than he thought. So there was no need to go to sleep at all. So we stayed up and talked with Kevin and Michelle for a while. We didn’t even get to hang out with them much even though we were at their house. That’s just how these things sometimes go. Everybody is busy. They were great hosts though. I’m so thankful for them. Tomorrow...New York bound.

Kevin & Michelle

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Morpheus Soul Show! Day 6 [Part 11]

London Day 6

So this was the plan. Get up, pull all our stuff together for the whole day, go hang with Jeff’s friend Kelli, hit Camden and then on to Brixton to do the Morpheus Soul show and then on to the Music Bar to play the Heart & Soul charity fundraiser. Another long day ahead.

Well, in usual London fashion for Jeff and I we left the house late on the first leg to Kelli’s place. I thought that this would be a quick ride at least in the sense that we only had to take one train and it was the line we were closest too and then we would have to take a bus once we got of the train, but I was surely mistaken. So we got on the Overground at Anerley and I think we went all the way to Haggerston. I could be wrong, but I think that was it. Then we got off and had to catch a bus outside of the train station. Once that came I didn’t think we had far to go, but we actually had to take the bus to the last stop before it looped around. Well this might not be a problem if you are in a city that has straight roads, but London is not that city. So we rode on the bus for a while until we arrived at Kelli’s place. At least we got to ride in the front seat on the top level of the double decker. Ah…it’s the little things.

Kelli lives in a cool area of East London close to where the Olympic stadium will be in 2012. She also has very cute apartment. We all sat a chatted for a while and I was noticing that the time was passing by, but I was glad to just sit for a while especially because I was carrying my bass and Jeff his guitar. We told Kelli that we wanted to go to Camden that day but I was convinced that we would not make it due to the time crunch we were in, but we gave it a shot.

So we headed back to the Overground that was a little closer to her place. I think it was either Hackney Wick or Hackeny Central. Either way we took that train to Camden Road. Now folks it’s Saturday in Camden, which means the area was packed and I really don’t like people, I mean, crowds. We are also carrying gear and I have to admit I’m a little cranky. I would soon know why, but we’ll get there in a minute.

We made our way slowly though the massive crowd to find some food. We all got some small plates and headed to look for somewhere to sit. By that time Jeff and I were starving. I don’t know if we had eaten at all that day and it was late afternoon by the time we got to Camden. Not a smart move on our part. So there was reason number 1 I was cranky. I was damned hungry!

After eating I was a lot more perky. I felt a little bad for showing my crank because I didn’t want to seem like I wasn’t grateful for Kelli brining us out there. I was just too hungry to think straight. We didn’t really get to see much of Camden because we were pressed for time, another thing that was kind of a bummer. The last time I was in London we got to Camden late in the day when everything was closing. So that’s two times and no real Camden hang. Well, I will return.

After eating we realized it was time to make our way to Brixton for the radio show. So went to the Camden Town station on the Northern Line and the escalator wasn’t working. So we had to go down, down, down this winding staircase to get to the train platform. That was making me cranky too. LOL!

We said farewell to Kelli as she had something else to do and said she would try and make it out to the show that night. We took the Tube to from Camden Town to Euston where were switched for the Victoria Line toward Brixton and the end of that line.

I was concerned about us being late to the show, but we actually made it to Brixton and the radio station in good time. This was our first foray to Brixton since getting into town. It was where I ended my trip last time, which is a great memory.

When we got off the Tube we came out, turned left, walked by the Roxy and down the road until we came to the building where Playvybz and the Morpheus Soul show are housed. At first we couldn’t get in, but then someone came to the door to let us in. We were still a bit confused about how to get to the actual station because it was a building with a lot of businesses in it. The guy who opened the door for us pointed us in a direction, but it wasn’t too clear. We walked down a hall and made a left to another hall with an elevator. We pressed the button for the elevator and nothing happened so I was a bit frustrated when someone opened the door to the outside near the elevator and it was LyricL and the rest of the Morpheus Soul crew! Thank God because the cranky was creeping up on me hard. LOL! So instead of taking the elevator we just took the steps downstairs to the studio.

I was so happy to be there and even happier to just sit down. LOL! But seriously I was looking forward to the show. DJ Johnny Rebel of the Morpheus Soul show is the person I had been corresponding with before I got to London. He sent me links to a few of the shows so I was clear about the format when he has guests on the show. Basically it’s like a jam session with whoever is in the room and they have a resident vocalist/emcee in the crew who happens to be named Lyrical not to be confused with LyricL. LOL! Basically, Lyrical will freestyle and vocally jam with whoever the musical guest is; over whatever beat Johnny decides to drop. What??!! Okay so I had to get my skills up. HA! I knew it was going to be a lot of fun so that’s why I also invited LyricL to come with us. I am all about connecting people, and Johnny said they had been trying to get LyricL on the show for a while so this was perfect.

The Morpheus Soul Show crew is DJ Johnny Rebel, The Soulful Solly Brown, Ten Mill and when called upon Lyrical. [Angels 10, 11, 12 & 13] Let me first say that they have that show down to a science. Second let me say that Solly and Ten Mill have two of the best voices in radio and I really listen to things like that. Three DJ Johnny Rebel’s choice of songs for the show and tunes that go under the voice over are impeccable. These brothas made me remember why I love hip-hop for real. They put me on to Homeboy Sandman, Big K.R.I.T. and Nottz. Oh yes I love hip-hop. I really do. Exhale. Hip-hop is alive. It’s been pushed under like so many of us, but we still make the music. Blessings. Okay I’m getting off my hip-hop soapbox and back to or regularly scheduled program.

The back of Ten Mill, Soulful Solly Brown & LyricL
DJ Johnny Rebel
Lyrical not to be confused with LyricL

The show started out with Johnny playing music. Great music and I’m not just saying that because he was playing my music (Ha!). It was so nice to ask, “who’s that?” time and time again. Soon we jumped into the interactive portion of the show. That would be me, LyricL and Jeff. Ten Mill and Soulful Solly Brown interviewed me, then they had LyricL announce the #1 song on the Morpheus Soul Top 5 Countdown and then another brief talk and then we jumped into the jam. But before I go there I have to say this. This next portion might be a TMI moment, but you know this stuff just happens and the ladies know what I’m talking about. 

As I’m sitting there waiting my turn I said to myself that I should go to the ladies room before all of this jumps off. So I go and what happens, my “little friend” shows up! Now it was all clear about why the cranky had shown up that day. Damn! Now I have to figure this “situation” out. So I roll back to the studio and whisper in LyricL’s ear about the situation. Luckily she was able to help me out, and said, “welcome to being on tour out of the country.” LOL. Indeed, indeed.

Lyrical wasn’t in studio for the whole show because he was at work, but that brotha came right in from the job and didn’t even miss a beat. He just stepped right on the mic, the beat dropped and he was flowing! I was not ready! HA! But I managed to jump in. It was like vocal double-dutch. LOL! We had such a great time. LyricL jumped in, Jeff played guitar and it was amazing. They learned why I call Jeff the “Haitian Sensation” because he can play anything! This went on for about 10-15 minutes. It was fire! Good times. Good times.

The Morpheus Soul show guests of the week!

[Listen to the Show on the Player Below! Also my bad that I disputed Ma Rainey being written by August Wilson. Bad Shelley! Enjoy!]

The Morpheus Soul show Feat. Shelley Nicole, Jeff Jeudy & LyricL [Feb. 12th]

“It’s the radio show that plays good music”

I have to shout out Georgia who came through and took some beautiful photos us is in the studio. She is amazing. I love when photographers disappear into the room and capture moments without you even realizing that you are being shot. That was a huge feat to do in that studio because it wasn’t very big. I also can’t forget Louisa, Lyrical’s manager, who shot the video for that day. Hey Louisa, where is that video? LOL.

After the show was over it was past time to eat. We were starving. LOL! We could have gone to the Music Bar where we were playing next to eat, but I needed to make a pit stop in the other direction. Johnny took my bass and Jeff’s guitar to the spot so we wouldn’t have to carry them while we were at dinner, which was really sweet. After a start stop on the dinner front with us trying to go to Satay, but they door guy being an ass, we eased on down the road to a Japanese spot that was really great. The dinner crew was LyricL, Jeff, Lyrical, Ten Mill and I. Coming along shortly were Chippy and Kadija Karma. Johnny had played one of Kadija’s songs on the show and it was killin’. So it was really great to meet her.

After dinner Lyrical, Jeff and I walked down to the Music Bar. LyricL was with us for a bit, but then she went back to the restaurant to chill with Chippy and Kadija because they got to dinner a bit later than us.

The Music Bar is really cute. I wish it had been warmer because they have a place for folks to hang outside and I believe they were jerking chicken out there. Inside there is a bar/lounge with couches, TV and a pool table. If you keep going back and down a couple of steps you come to the music room. Johnny was already spinning when we arrived. I got my things out of my bag and changed my clothes and put my face on. I then walked around a bit and I was so excited because Kat and Rob were there! Yeah! Jeff’s friend Ryan who had lent us his guitar was there with his girlfriend and another friend. Chippy, Kadija and LyricL showed up a bit later. I also met Sharoné who working the event for Heart & Soul. Really cool people.

DJ Johnny Rebel on deck
Rob & Kat! My people!
Me & Kat!
Ryan & Jeff

The evening also featured Fae Simone and Lyrical. The evening opened with Fae doing her thing with another emcee/producer who she is working with and then Jeff and I hit the stage. We did three songs and it was a little tough to hear the guitar because it didn’t have a direct input, but we pushed it through. On that night we did blaK Girls, Box and Give It to Me. So it was short and sweet. I had to reel in a few unruly folks who thought they could talk loud through my set. I wasn’t really having it. So I sang “Give it to Me” straight to the loudest dude with so much intensity I probably scared him more then excited him, but either way he shut up. LOL! After I was done Lyrical hit the stage and he was on fire. I think he could have gone all night if they had let him. Jeff played a few tunes with him and he did a few things to tracks. All in all it was really fun.

Fae Simon

Jeff  & Lyrical
I was glad to do the charity event, but I was also glad that the show was over because I was so tired. I think the realization that it was the end of the week, and I didn’t have anymore shows was starting to sink in so I was winding down mentally and physically.

I had hatched a plan of how Jeff and I were going to get home from Brixton that night but it required us to get on the rail kind of early. Well not too early, but I wanted to make sure we made it. Well that plan went out the window somewhere in the evening and we were trying to figure out what bus(es) to take when Kevin showed up! Remember we were staying with Kevin and Michelle. So that was a huge blessing. Now we didn’t have to worry about how we were going to get home. Yes!

After the show was over we hung out for a little bit. I sold my last CD that I had brought with me, which was also a blessing and I gave part of that money to the charity. It wasn’t much, but I wanted to give. Then Jeff and I packed up our things and started to head out. I thought I might be sad to say goodbye because it was the last show, but we had planned to meet most of the crew at the Vibe Bar the next night for LyricL’s show.

DJ Johnny Rebel, Me & Lyrical

LyricL & Jeff
Jeff and I headed out with Kevin and back to the house. It was the end of another long day. When we got to the house we stayed up chatting with Kevin a bit, but soon realized we needed to go to bed because Sunday was the only day that we had to go sightseeing and Paula (my girl in New York) told me I could not fail her. So we had to do London in a day. LOL! It was going to be tough, but I was up for the challenge!

So we head to sleep and just as I was falling asleep I hear this sound. The sound is something like a dying animal or a something hurt. It was scary. I thought it sounded like some mythical animal. I’m like, “What the hell is that?” Jeff gets up to see what it is and low and behold it’s another damn fox! It’s making such an awful noise like it’s a crazy three-headed dog. I didn’t even want to look out the window. This thing just barked or whatever it was doing for about 10 minutes. It was crazy. Finally I heard someone outside yell, “Get!” And it stopped and went away. Did I say it was hella crazy. The foxes need to be stopped! It’s like a bad horror movie. LOL! Goodnight London.

Note: There as so many wonderful photos that came from this day. I'm going to post more of them later on my FB page, but in you are on FB you check out Georgia's page (the photographer) for all her photos from that day.

Also: The Morpheus Soul show happens Every Saturday 5-7pm GMT. That's 2-4pm EST.  Check them out LIVE on or check the postcast on the Morpheus Soul website. It's always poppin.'!

LyricL, Jeff, Me, Kadija Karma, Johnny & Chippy!