Mark Ronson at Greenwich Summer Sessions
It was one of those light summer evenings that make you fall back in love with London summers. The destination was the Old Navy College in Greenwich for Greenwich Summer Sessions, a 5-day open-air concert with a host of acts.
We headed for Wednesday’s roster; Mark Ronson + Business Intl. supported by The Noisettes. As we approached, the distinctive vocal sounds of Shingai Shoniwa lead singer of the Noisettes urged us on with “Don’t Upset the Rhythm (Go Baby Go)”.
We headed straight for the stage and were wowed by Shingai resplendent in a gold basque sheathed in a floor length white shirt embellished with flowers and topped with a gold head wrap & fishnet tights. She was a vision beaming in the late evening sunshine. The Noisettes set was spectacular delighting the crowd with tracks like “Don’t Give Up” and “Never Forget You”. A special moment in their performance for me, was the doo-wop skit Shingai performed alongside lead guitarist Dan Smith. But what had the whole crowd buzzing was a surprise performance by Shingai and her brother who is equally as talented and blew us away. Definitely a young teen with an old soul, let’s hope he follows in big sis’ footsteps.
During the interval we took in the scene, it seems everyone ducked out of work early to make it out for that evening’s Summer Sessions. Picture this; green lawns, a hip crowd of trendies, rockabillies, emos and the city gent, friends hanging out sipping beers in plastic cups, haystacks and the backdrop of the Naval college steeped in heritage trailing the horizon.
Before we had a chance to get lost in the moment it was time for Mark Ronson. You could feel the anticipation in the crowd. Then came the sounds of an acoustic guitar and Ronson. Plucking the strings was Dave McCabe writer of opening song “Valerie”, a fitting tribute to Mark’s dear friend Amy. Then Business International joined him on stage on what was a giant red and white replica of their Bang! Bang! Bang! video. No sooner were Business International on stage than they launched into a plethora of hits. One after the other came “Bike Song”, “Lose It”, “Oh My God” and “Ooh Wee”. By this point the atmosphere in the crowd had reached fever pitch. Then Ronson set the roof on fire reliving his days as a hip hop DJ in NY. The 15 minute set was out of this world, definitely my fave moment of the show. If there was any doubt before as to why the words superstar DJ are mentioned in the same sentence as Mark Ronson he most definitely squashed them. As twilight set in, the crowd went wild for his set, everybody was jumping, fists were pumping. The mood went from fever pitch to electric.
So how were Ronson & Business International to out do that in the second half of their show? Easily especially when Andrew Wyatt of Swedish/American group Miike Snow joined them on stage and performed a dub step infused “Animal”. Having just attended Amy Winehouse’s funeral the day before there were also more beautiful dedications. Renditions of “Rehab” and show closer “Back to Black”. I can’t end though without mentioning another showstopper. Their BANG! BANG! BANG! performance. This track took the crowd over the edge and for me was the ultimate clincher! They most definitely rocked the house with a BANG! BANG! BANG!
The energy of Mark Ronson & Business International is addictive, I think everyone in the audience left with a whole new definition of what Mark Ronson is to music. He, Business International and the Noisettes are DA BOMB! Hands down this is the best concert I’ve attended in a long time. Everything was perfect, the music, the crowd, the setting, the summer evening, everything. Hats off to you Greenwich Summer Sessions looking forward to next year!!
Inject some of the Greenwich Summer Sessions fever here;
Words: Enam G
Photography: Ernest Simons