Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Granny's Yard

"I remember growing up at Granny's Yard in the '80s. Playin' hopscotch. Runnin' away from the neighbours' dog. Bodypopping with the boogaloo break force. Glow worms, garbage pail kids, sodastreams and braids wid beads. The summer festivals down in Kensal Green. The days when we were so carefree ..." sings Shola Ama at the start of Granny's Yard, another excellent addition to our London list songbook with lots of lovely detail from Reebok Classics to D'Angelo. Shola details her London rites of passage through to, well, I guess the point where she became so successful at a ridiculously early age after being discovered singing to herself on the platform at Hammersmith tube station in true showbiz fashion. Life hasn't been smooth sailing for Shola, and the LP this great track appears on, Supersonic, from 2002 was released independently after she bounced back from tackling some demons of her own. It was a great fightback, but this country has an appalling track record when it comes to celebrating our own soul stars. Sadly since then there's not been another LP from Shola. She has, however, been active underground on the garage and grime scenes, appearing on tracks with the likes of Giggs and Aftershock/Terror Danjah. You just wish sometimes the opportunities came along for her ... it's no wonder that on Granny's Yard she sings: "Sometimes we all need to remember the things that we did 'cos life is forever always changing. But the memories we have are so so amazing ..." And as the spirit of Mr Coward is always haunting us here, Shola sings some Noel for us ...

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