I could start with “no words”, but that hardly makes good grounding for a review of any kind. So, instead, I shall say I had extremely high expectations of, at last, seeing Mica Paris singing live; she didn’t meet that parameter, she surpassed it, in spades. Is this article gushing? Too right it is!
Given my long held wish to see her, since I reviewed her album ‘Born Again’ (the link to that article is at the end of this piece) it could be said that after my six-year wait I would be easily pleased. This was beyond such sentiments, as the lady – undoubtedly one of the best voices the British music scene has ever had to claim its own – proved beyond any doubt that she is not only a powerhouse vocalist, but a woman who knows her art impeccably and is therefore able to move from classic jazz standards on a par with the greats as much as she can funk it out as the South London Old School girl. You know when you feel the music, when it is penetrating your very being, when you are covered in the energy field we call ‘goosebumps’, when you know that were you to look down you’d not be surprised to see your feet were some way of the ground. Mica was giving the crowd in front of her something of joy, of love, of magnificence – and none of them are ever likely to forget it.
A world-class act undoubtedly, though she plays the role of Diva with tongue firmly in cheek, seeming far more an old friend with a commanding wit. Another thing that, aside from her Amazonian beauty, makes Mica stand head and shoulders above the rest is her true versatility when it comes to style of song; Soul, Jazz, Hip Hop, Funk, Dance, Gospel… less a chameleon, more simply and purely an accomplished Maestro (Maestra).
“I come from the church… it was all about your voice, projecting in that place and touching people. I come from that background. You can’t get a better school than that… What do I enjoy most? All of it. I like having the band kick it, then in between I’ll make everything real quiet, just me and a piano, me and a guitarist. I give the audience both.” 1.
She certainly did. As the saying goes “she took it to church!” Or rather, in this case, to the cathedral, a big one, on top of a mountain – as close to the heavens as one can get. In fact, if it was decreed that our best singers were to be elevated to reside as the ancient gods on Mount Olympus, Mica would be known as both Aphrodite and Athene, goddess of them all.