YolanDa Brown – April Showers, May Flowers

YolanDa Brown – April Showers, May Flowers  *** [3.5/5]
Romance in the air. HMV Hammersmith Apollo, Friday 17th February 2012

After a hard week’s work, having a good night out is what many of us look forward to and Saxophonist YolanDa Brown, along with her audience, were certainly having a good time at the HMV Apollo, Hammersmith, on Friday 17th April.


YolanDa Brown

This was the third show in YolanDa’s UK tour, entitled ‘April Showers, May Floewers’, also the name of her derbut album, released 13th February 2012. 

The evening kicked of with a melodic selection of songs from her 2007 CD ‘Finding my Voice’ , beautifully enhanced with the wonderful contribution of the backing ‘band’, none other than the prestigious Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Sometimes the music felt a little too mellow for my liking, but things  picked up with the introduction of singer Phebe Edwards who didn’t just raise the roof, but practically ripped it off and flung it right over the Hammersmith flyover with her powerful vocal delivery. So stunning was it, that it earned her a standing ovation.

Phebe Edwards

The first half concluded with the Bob Marlet classics ‘Watiing in Vain’ and ‘Is this love?’

The second half whilst also having the odd quiet moment, saw the tempo upped with many memorable moments. The good humoured banter of the male backing trio of Aaron Sokell, Paul Boldeau and Olu Sodeinde was a joy. Each were given their own solo moment in the spotlight to sing a verse of George Gershwin’s 1935 classic Summertime’ and each took their moment with beautifully delivered verses from the song.

And the Oscar goes to …

Arguably one of the most unforgettable moments of the night occured when YolanDa introduced musician Oscar Stieler’s girlfriend Ancha to the stage to thank her for all her support. She then said Oscar had an announcement to make. Hmmm, this being Valentines’ week whatever could this be one wondered?

Out came Oscar to, you guessed it, get down on one knee to propose to his girlfriend. The audience goes wild. It’s a yes from Ancha, a kiss for Oscar and the place erupts with loud cheers and clapping in public celebration of this very private moment. Oscar’s a brave man. I’m not sure I could make such a bold declaration of love in public.

Click photos to view the moment and many other brilliant photos from the night.

Oscar and Ancha

Anyway, back to the music – minus Oscar, Rose and the drummer (don’t ask why) who return 10 minutes later. Let us not dwell on what celebrations might have taken place in those 10 minutes!!

The best Sax ever

YolanDa proceeded to introduce Nigerian Saxophonist Mike Aremu who was simply sensational. He was loud, melodic and with the most powerful lungs going that enabled him to play that Sax in away that I have never heard before. It was a privilege to be there and watch a master at work. You could tell YolanDa was seriously impressed too, as was the audience, so much so that he received a hugely deserved standing ovation for what was quite simply a sensational, virtuoso performance.

Mike Aremu

This was one thing that was especially admirable about the night – that YolanDa wasn’t afraid of sharing her limelight with other highly talented performers such as Mike and Phebe Edwards. By doing so, she provided a platform and springboard to other opportunities for these superb talents, something she’s benefited from herself over the years with her many cameos at comedy shows and other special nights.

YolanDa Brown and Mike Aremu


Providing a platform for new talent is something that the BBC have done brilliantly with their ‘Live at the Apollo’ comedy series.

Many moments contributed to the fun and uniqueness of the night – the trio’s banter, YolanDa’s comfortable and easy going banter between songs and the marriage proposal. This was most apt in a way, seeing as the venue was the Apollo, home of the BBC’s top rated comedy show ‘Live at the Apollo’ and so many comedians were present. Donna Spence and Leo Mohammed were there, along with  Tiemo 2011 Black Comedy Award nominee’s Felicity Ethnic, Geoff Schumann and Slim.

Other dignitaries and celebrities present included the Jamaican High Commissioner Anthony Johnson, Detective Superintendent Leroy Logan, Mr Gorgeous, Beverley De-Gale OBE and Orin Lewis OBE.

© Tiemo Talk of the Town

© Photos – Helen Dornellas

18th February 2012

YolanDa’s tour continues through to March 2012. View www.yolandabrown.co.uk for tour dates. She is at Millfields Theatre, Edmonton on 24th February 2012.

The much anticipated Black Comedy Awards are coming soon!!!

In the spring of 2012 you will have a fantastic opportunity to be part of a unique night to celebrate, honour and laugh with the funny men and women who had audiences roaring with laughter in 2011.

Please keep an eye on our www.tiemo.co.ukFacebook and twitter sites for updates.

To make an advanced reservation or to request further information email us at:- bookings@tiemo.co.uk

Tickets to attend the prestigious 9th Black Comedy Awards 2011 to be held in Central London in the Spring of 2012 can be purchased from www.bcawards2011.eventbrite.com

Voting lines close on 31st March 2012. Nominees and voting information – http://www.tiemo.co.uk/blackcomedyawards2011.html

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4 Responses to YolanDa Brown – April Showers, May Flowers

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