The ‘Winterfest Tour’ kicked off last Tuesday night at Club Oceana in Kingston, Surrey, where Mavado was accompanied by Gully Squad member Chase Cross, selector Boom Boom and producer DJ Frass. Mavado delivered a fiery performance in Club Oceana that was packed with students from all nations.
“I sang about eight songs in total and the response was unbelievable,” said Mavado. “It was the first time I’ve had the opportunity to sing in front of such a mixed crowd in the UK, and it was nice to see them singing every word to all the songs. It’s always good to see crowds that aren’t our traditional market, so in touch with my music.”
Taking time out to do a press day whilst in the UK, Mavado did interviews with a variety of mainstream and urban media outlets, ranging from BBC Radio 4 and Tim Westwood to SBTV, The Voice newspaper and Woah FM.
From there Mavado, this time accompanied by fellow MOBO award-winner Gyptian, trekked North through the snow storm that blanketed Britain to Bradford, for the second leg of the mini-tour. Despite the heavy snow and treacherous driving conditions, the turnout was great inside the new Rio Grande club and Mavado rocked the crowd for over an hour until the lights came on in the early hours.
Bristol’s legendary Malcolm X Centre was also packed to the rafters Saturday night as, once again, Mavado gave an energy-packed performance. He called on Chase Cross, who was well received, before trying to out-do selector Boom Boom, challenging him to find rhythm after rhythm in a lengthy performance.
A final trek through the snowbound roads back to London and the famed Brixton Academy, site of so many historic performances in the past. It was, however, Mavado’s first appearance inside the prestigious venue and he stepped up his game to match the step-up in venue.
Backed flawlessly by the Anger Management band and with Alliance/Scare Dem stalwart Angel Doolas handling backing vocals duty, headliner Mavado had the crowd in the palm of his hands from the moment he stepped on stage to the very last note. Singing anthem after anthem, with the crowd accompanying every word, an excursion into the front row had the females going crazy, with one female fan holding aloft a pair of underwears when Mavado sang When You Feel Lonely, his recent number one song on BBC 1Xtra.
MC for the night, Robbo Ranx, called on Mavado for three encores as the audience just did not want him to leave. Brixton Academy was sold out and everyone in attendance left agreeing Mavado had delivered one of his best-ever performances.
“The fans really came out for this tour,” said Mavado, in a release sent to THE WEEKEND STAR. “The weather was terrible and all the shows were really well-supported, so I wanted to give them performances to remember. Performing at Brixton Academy was a privilege for me as I grew up hearing about the likes of Shabba Ranks and Bounty Killer tearing down there, so I really wanted to make my mark in the historic music venue, too.”
Mavado has a show in Guyana over the holiday period before jetting off to Africa in early 2011, which will kick off a very busy year for the Gully Gad.