Sunday Highlights from the Heath
Sunday at ONBlackheath featured the electrifying Grace Jones, Rag N Bone Man, Morcheeba and a whole lot of good times to be had by the whole family.
Newton Faulkner got the vibes flowing on the Main Stage as soon as he stepped on it, barefoot. He only needed a guitar to dominate the whole stage with his fast fret picking, which had the crowds mesmerised. “Has anyone been on those huge spinning swings yet? I can’t even do waltzers any more” Newton joked before launching into one of his biggest hits, ‘Dream Catch Me’. Newton’s smile reached from ear to ear as he looked out on the audience, drinking in the happiness in the air his music brought to the Heath.
Morcheeba are known for their laid back, cool and for some, therapeutic sounds. Skye’s stage presence is unlike any other and her outfit is up there with one of the best we’ve seen across the entire weekend. A large black-rimmed hat adorning the singer’s head, it was like there was hidden soul underneath is, being emitted throughout the whole set.
‘Otherwise’ and ‘The Sea’ filled the Arena with a pounding beat as instruments were pushed to their limits. Huge cymbal crashes and drum fills around the kit got the audience moving their feet to the rhythm. Injecting energy into the crowd at the peak of their set, they launched into a cover of David Bowie’s ‘Just Dance’ and their huge hit, ‘Rome Wasn’t Built In A Day’.
UB40 featuring Ali Campbell & Astro blasted out their feel-good anthems in the blistering afternoon sun, it wasn’t quite a ‘Fijan Sunset’, but we’ll take it. With more than enough back catalogue to pull from, this was a set for new and old fans alike. The crowd didn’t need any encouragement to sing along, echoing Ali’s powerful vocals.
Taking us back to Kingston town, the Birmingham-band pulled out all the stops to ensure the crowd were hooked. Launching from their rendition of ‘Can’t Help Falling In Love With You’ to ‘Red Red Wine’ the set ended in the largest dance party of the day so far.
Rag N Bone Man’s signature baritone voice is one that instantly stops people in their tracks. He’s been honing his craft on the Brighton rap scene ever since he released ‘Human’ in 2017 and gone from strength to strength ever since. Winding in Stevie Wonder’s ‘Edge of Seventeen’ and 2Pac’s ‘Changes’ into his set gives Rag N Bone Man’s live songs an edge over his recorded material.
Joined on stage by his talented band, a tight seven-piece consisting of bass, guitar, drums plus two brass section players and a smooth duo of backing vocalists, Rory’s performance is filled with emotion that you can feel with every breath he takes.
A surprise appearance from Professor Green and huge singalongs with his hits ‘Giant’ and ‘Human’ meant that this was a set that will go down in the OBH history books.
Singer, songwriter, supermodel, actress and record producer Grace Jones was your phenominal Sunday night headliner. Gracing the Main Stage with almost as many costume changes as any normal person would wear in a week, she showed the crowds exactly why she was the one at the top of everyone’s wish lists today.
Catching the audience's attention with ‘Nightclubbing’, the superstar strutted on stage with a headdress, sunglasses, body paint, cape and glowsticks around her ankles and wrists. Crawling across the stage like a rabid animal looking for prey, Grace blasted her way into ‘Leatherette’ with added percussion from the superstar herself.
“I love you! It’s time to party. I can’t wear that thing I normally wear because there are too many children and it would mess up their heads.” Grace bellows before treating us to an out of this world performance of ‘My Jamaican Guy’.
Aside from Grace’s impressive backcatalogue of songs, her set was filled with more than enough glitz and glam to keep all of Blackheath captivated. Mounting a security guards shoulders with a make-shift horses mane atop of her head she became one with the crowd, riding back and forth along the front row clasping adoring fans’ hands.
Bringing her rapturous set to an end with ‘Pull Up To The Bumper’ she showed off her hula-hooping skills while London saw one of the most breathtaking sunsets it had seen all year. Grace’s set was a spectacular way to close out ONBlackheath 2019.