Black Girl on the Front Row!

“Awake The Dawn…”

Awake the dawn…

…and stream the rays through open curtains of my heart.

Remind me to arise.

Reflect the warming glint of courage

that will catch his eye…

…set alight like flints of passion for life.

Flickering. Independent.

Stoke the soul-desire to press on…

and indent my vision with dreams realised.

Mesmerise my triumph.

Render my secrets incandescent…

…and illuminate his savoir-faire

upon the topic of the inner me.

Raise a blatant laugh,

depicting bustling childhoods of the metamorphic city.

Fill my days until they grow opaque.

Pour my hurry into vats of peace…

…and as the blades of grass must yield

unto the sparkling sky,

release the soporific moon…

…return me to the flowerbed of pause,

wherein the time I borrow lends itself

to prescient invitations…


ready for his world, today,

I shall R.S.V.P, ‘Yes!’, to newfound love…

…and an evermore


©A_F_R_O_W2018 All Rights Reserved



“Katharine Hamnett gives ‘Liberty’ to captivating SS18 collections!”

Nights like this should not be reserved for sleep…

… Not when you have had a meeting of minds, hearts and souls on monumental scales…

…and all in the premium package of the eagerly-awaited launch of Katharine Hamnett London’s SS18 women’s and menswear collections…

It takes someone truly revered to draw a crowd such as congregated in the hallowed halls of Liberty London’s lower ground floor. Place “Katharine Hamnett” into a sentence with a bona fide, high-end retail treasure of this great capital, and, together, you have the cadence of perfect creative alchemy, epitomising Balance…. Harmony…

….which neatly summarises the most captivating capsule collections of dreams… (that is, if I were to succumb to sleep!)… However, as stated, tonight is not one for repose, of any kind!

Having arrived early, it is still a veritable hive of organised activity… From re-merchandising to maximise optimal exposure of every piece, to hoovering the most out-of-the-way corners, nothing is left to chance, in achieving the flawless, final look. To say that the hard work paid dividends, would be a vast understatement, for the mission was more than accomplished!

 I am cordially-greeted by Janine Constantin-Russell, General Manager of Liberty, and immediately taken aback by her generosity of time taken out of overseeing the build-up, to talk all-things “Hamnett” with me! Even more delighted was I, to be conversing with this lit-from-within energy, herself as excited as I was about the need for such a grounded presence to be back, once again, so rightfully, front-and-centre. Sparkling with expressiveness, vis-à-vis collaborating with the prestige label on such an auspicious launch, Janine encourages my taking a tour, to see the gorgeous results for myself and so, I promptly set off on my voyage of discovery!

In an atmosphere replete with swirls of hiphop-jazz, my initial walk-through to get acquainted with the latest sartorial offerings from the living legend, synonymous with ubiquitous style, was like a fresh breeze through the beautifully-landscaped garden of menswear. From Lanvin to Loewe, Thom Browne to Burberry, Marni to Moncler, Hamnett’s re-entry into the design atmosphere is rife with delicate defiance, in the swish of one organic silk shirt.. or the sharp swoop of a billowing, full-length, draped dress.

Slogan Tees are refreshed, with hard-hitting, visual exclamations to address the “now”, such as “Protest And Survive” and “Women Against War”, bringing to an end the misconception that silence is easy… As Katharine so eruditely put it, “We have to up our game, as we aren’t achieving very much, considering the amount of man and woman-hours that have [already] gone into fighting.” In accordance, both collections are steeped in revolution and the messages carry as confronting a narrative, as the days in which 80’s pop phenomenon, “Wham” boldly proclaimed “Choose Life”, whilst gleefully waking up musical empires on both sides of the Atlantic!

That the collections should be so deeply-embedded in such a spirit of the indomitable, should come as no surprise. It is well-known that Katharine Hamnett has always been ahead-of-the very same game, socio-politically, economically and creatively. Her battle to imbue the fashion system with the plausibility of sustainability and fighting for the human rights of those within the supply chain of production… has been her clarion call… Her voice has continually chimed through the annals of design to a point, whereby, ethical practice is, now, beyond an intangible vision and is an actual, going concern.

Enthusiastically-steered through a fascinating life story, filled with industry anecdotes of both, the glamour and the grit, by British Vogue’s esteemed Chief Critic, Sarah Mower MBE, who was pristine in Celine, the fact that “it all came too easily” was a testament to the authenticity of truth which runs through Hamnett, like a rod of iron. So-much-so, that she could be the real ‘Woman of Steel’, what with her proverbial determination to change the world-at-large, by changing the world around her.

Recounting, at blistering pace, that her production process is “paraben-free, [with] no heavy metals”, is just the preface to an inventory which includes organic cotton, “certified by Diamond Processing” standards, silk, which is “about as clean a fibre as you can get”, “nickel-free zips, [because] nickel is poisonous” and an endless quest “to find more sustainable fabrics, as techniques develop”. Further insight into her supply chain being the “Made In Italy”, export route, affords her the opportunity to “stick [her] nose up to anyone who talks about trade”, in addition to promoting and benefitting from their artisanal passion, “know-how, legacy and technical expertise.”

The superior quality of craft on display in the exposition of her new season selection, is undeniable evidence of this specialist provenance. From the considered nature of precision-pleating, on the wide-legged khaki trouser, with double-buttoned front and notched-back waistband, with slim-leg, ankle-skimming lengths, the wondrous working of a tissue-fine silk shirt, with an, ever so gentle, high-low hemline, to the perfectly-tempered palette of lightning white, through super-jet black, energised by richest reds and texturised by stonewashed denim treatments, the Katharine Hamnett man is spoilt-for-sophisticated and understated choice!

This same exacting, yet, polished prowess is celebrated in a Katharine Hamnett woman, who is savvy, edgy and endlessly elegant. The slogan “Maggie” Tee, which was fabulously-styled and modelled as a T-shirt dress, will fast need replenishing upon the rails, as will the stunning gold jumpsuit and, my personal favourite, the floor-sweeping, fire-engine red, puff-of-a-gown, with deep, plunge-front and back neckline…as ready for the red-carpet, as for the beach-front after-party!

It is all as impressive as her unconditional covenant to create, in order to benefit the greater good and embolden others to, similarly, make their voices heard. In a time of “freefall manufacturing, cheap labour and bad labour”, the crusader for social justice entreats the amassed assemblage of admirers to put literal pen-to-paper and compose letters to those who are paid to represent us, as well as to those brands who could and should make vast improvements, with regard to recognising and lessening the negative effect of their ethical footprint upon, both, people and the environment. “They’re trying, but they should be trying harder and faster”, not only summons affirmatory nods, but also gives rise to further adoration.

Questions from the floor prompt reiteration of the Katharine Hamnett stance towards making sustainable fashion more affordable and accessible… that of “better prices, with bigger production… online [to avoid extra capital costs].” However, it is her vocal nod to the lengths to which award-winning proponents of the circular economy, “Rapanui Clothing”, will go, in order to manufacture and deliver her T-shirt lines, which seems to, most, touch those in the room. Describing the “adorable” enterprise as “a perfect prototype of a C21st company, based in the Isle of Wight” is high praise, heartfelt recognition and truly symbolic of someone who “collaborates with anything that’s exciting or touches [her] heart.”

It is also indicative of her humility.

She seems oblivious to the attention which revolves, tornado-like, around her.

Absorbing selfies with timely patience and grace, she is pure, radiant class, with the spirit of a lioness, within the physique of a prima ballerina. Effortlessly-chic in black-out shades, nothing looked cooler than sharing a camera-frame with her, nothing more inspiring than observing her, back in her artistic habitat…

…and whilst her name might end “CBE” (Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire), when asked the final question of how she would like to be remembered, she pauses and, with what must, surely, be accompanied by a twinkle in her concealed eyes, she cheekily replies “Watch. This. Space.” I, for one, cannot wait to see what this visionary next devises but, in my heart, I believe that the acronym will signify the success of her unrelenting message and stand for ‘Choose Buying Ethically’!


©A_F_R_O_W2018 All Rights Reserved


Katharine Hamnett London ~ Katharine Hamnett (Facebook)@katharinehamnett (Instagram) ~ @khamnettlondon (Twitter)

Liberty London ~ Liberty London (Facebook) ~ @libertylondon (Instagram) ~ @LibertyLondon (Twitter) ~ Liberty London (YouTube)

Rapanui ~ Rapanui (Facebook) ~ @Rapanuiclothing (Twitter) ~ Rapanui: Sustainable Fashion (Google+) ~ @rapanuiclothing (Instagram) ~ rapanuiclothing (Pinterest)

Sarah Mower MBE ~ @sarahmower_ (Instagram)


Wholehearted @A_F_R_O_W-Appreciation goes to Katharine Hamnett CBE, for her utterly impeccable collections, relentless inspiration and unswerving passion for contributing towards a better world…to her team at Katharine Hamnett London, who faithfully facilitate her creative and societal vision, to Janine Constantin-Russell and the absolutely fastidious Team Liberty, for extending such congenial hospitality and creating a truly unique and outstanding event, and to Sarah Mower MBE, whose lively repartee and unabated dedication to the quest for talent, catalyse that of my own, ongoing editorial development.



“Un grand ‘chapeau’ to VV Rouleaux!”

I am Alice. Self-titled. Hear me roar!

I am striding towards my hypothetical wonderland.

I reach a literal treasure trove of Arts and Crafts.

I meet a modern-day Titian, a holidaying American, a collective of creative guides.

I am led through the open pages of this story-book establishment…encompassed by feathers that flutter and fashion, oh my!!

Vintage, contemporary, tassels and pom-poms, twinkling, sparkling… I am enveloped within the beating heart of a life-sized trinket box!

I am in maker’s heaven!

Yet…for all of the fantastical frou-frou, quaint this working atelier-cum-accessories hotspot could never be, as I am at the legendary VV Rouleaux, being escorted to my home, for the foreseeable… which is sure to be the ultimate venue, for a morning of marvellous millinery!

Perched at the end of a distinguished wooden table, with my creating companions, I pause to imbibe the sounds… Momentarily, my mind is elastic enough to breach the force-fields of time and witness the whispers of a tree which was to become the support for so many anticipatory participants before me… Looking up to the blue sky, it would be destined to carry the weight of future blue-sky schemes, being sedulously sculpted in ‘sinamay’.

Yes, “sinamay”, announced the voice of Faye, our esteemed mentor, was to be the material of choice… A banana fibre, not keen comrades with, either, humidity or precipitation, and my introduction to the ‘freeform’ method of hat-design, from ‘curling ends’, through stitching on the hat-base, to the execution of especial embellishment!

More memory-scapes emerged… rifling through my love of design, like back-copies of make-do-and-mend magazines. My first sampler, my first print, my first embroidered tote… Vivid 3-D images in multi-dimensional pop-ups held me in history, whilst the scent of Earl Grey tea had me winging my way back to the present.

Something about the beauty of the unknown inspired me to entrust Faye with the size of sinamay which I would be working. Although, in theory, the smaller the piece, the better, I was ready to face the challenge of a larger cut… and so it began… the blush-pink medium, cut on-the-bias to facilitate the curling process, with which to fashion my one-off fascinator…

Water was to be utilised. Water was to be respected.

Too much would become the arch nemesis of the technique, rendering it too soft to turn. Too little, and the fabric would not yield… in effect, becoming more free-from, rather than free-form! I was to learn this, friends, as the supple, became the squidgy, in quick succession! Faye had made the method a constant motion of contemporary dance. Under her haute handiwork, tight curling transformed into abstract curvature… I was, initially, all fingers and thumbs, until the recognition of my favoured direction to loosen the edges, before performing the process of rolling, became apparent! Ever the eternal voice of positive reinforcement, Faye advised that 1cm was the optimum size in order to avoid fraying or breakage… She also reassured us that there was no rush, which made utter sense to me, as my joy was in following the fibre… letting it show me the way, rather than coerce a structure.

I cannot recall it… but, at some point, my Titian-haired and American associates had turned their talents to the business of sewing the initial element of their works-in-progress onto their selected bases…always using new thread, as previous lengths left on needles might be damaged..

Hats were blossoming like a mixed meadow of midsummer flowers… and it was such a pleasure to behold the exhileration with which they began to observe the best positioning for the final placement of adornments.

My vision and, thankfully not my edges, unfurling, I felt a contrasting black base necessary, so as to blend with my darker hair colour and highlight the blushing pink hue of my creation. Owing to my enthusiasm for embroidery, I knew that I would tackle the next task with greater confidence, which had grown with my achievement of overcoming a brand new modus operandi of making! Sinamay resembling a lotus shape, Faye demonstrated how to navigate the undulations of fabric, setting me free to fix the components together with nigh-on invisible stitches… Very satisfying!

My adrenalin on the upswing, I moved on to the moment which had been filled with such promise… That of sifting through such an array of ornamentation, in which I could have happily burrowed down and nested! I blinked-back shiny, smooth, sparkling… pastels, purples… neutrals, nickels… gold, gold and more gold… All, of which, would suit any personality trait… All, of which, to me, spelt glamour, glamour, glamour!!!!!

“Nothing is too much!” was jettisoned into the air…

…and it took extreme discipline, on my part, not to apply that approach to what was taking shape! However, jet black leaves with subtle sequins shouted louder and I dared not resist… I did strike-a-pose or twenty-two, yet, rather than rush the finale, I took all of the necessary accoutrements with me, to add the finishing touches in my own time…

…which was the first time I was aware of it slipping away…

…and as I bid my farewell, VV Rouleaux bag in hand, I realised that the best take-away had been the luxury of spending a Saturday morning, not simply sharing a love of learning, but learning to love the simple joy of sharing, so much more!


©A_F_R_O_W2018 All Rights Reserved


Click through for more information about all of the fantastic VV Rouleaux workshops/ events!

VV Rouleaux, 102 Marylebone Lane, Marylebone, London, W1U 2QD


Deepest A_F_R_O_W-thanks to Faye and the Marylebone Team for such a superb session and to fabulous Lucy, for the lovely invitation!






“Five Guys” party leaves you wanting “Moe”!

“I’ll never forget the excitement with which my musicals-mad Brother burst into the house, words spilling swiftly from him and filling the atmosphere with pure exuberance!

He had just returned from seeing the original presentation of a hit show, intriguingly entitled “5 Guys Named Moe”… and, for a moment, I truly believe that he, himself, had been dusted with dance-steps, as he couldn’t stop moving and enthusing about it…

The West End had been bowled over by an infectious party vibe, simply oozing the epitome of slick, combining hi-energy music, movement and accomplished acting!

I, meanwhile, was desperate to get a slice of the pie, which had my big Bro spinning like the proverbial top…. and, so began an affection for what the Arts could inspire, in just one evening!

Roll on a few decades and I find myself the one who has been swept up into the pre-show anticipation for, yours truly, would find herself in unique edifice of The Marble Arch Theatre, in-the-round… urging the artists to get the 2018 party started!

Yes, it was my turn to see the new 5 Guys!

Now, being so close to Mayfair, it was a thrill to take in a gentle sojourn within the eclectic environs of ‘Boisdale Restaurant’… How wonderful to be ensconced in this Scottish family-owned establishment, where the intimate atmosphere is one of front-room privacy, with an open-door policy to all-comers. How refreshing to be descending an LP-lined stairwell and shown the cavernous lower deck of “The Vinyl Bar and Groove Room”, where guests can while away the hours to shellac-soaked DJ sets, re-surface to live music and then, turn a corner, to encounter a splendid, split-level dining scenario. An amalgamation of secret worlds, hidden in plain sight, it is the perfect dessert island for a sweet-tooth, such as I! Were it not for the prospect of fulfilling a childhood dream, I would have reclined further into the arms of my comfy corner…yet, parting held less sorrow, due to the jazz, jazz, jazz that was jumping through the air… which would be quite the intro into my next musical milieu…

Matinée this may have been, but, as with the best of creative experiences, the time makes no difference, the audience number makes no difference (although, as far as the eye could see, it was a sell-out!)… when the lights go on, you’d better be ready to turn up for the business of show!

… And that, dear friends, is exactly what took place!

The one-and-only Clarke Peters, (he of the, seemingly, endless, stellar acting resume!) and former member of the original dazzling incarnation, which had so many in a spin, adds to his credits, by taking the directorial helm. The influence of his multi-disciplinary artistry is passport-stamped throughout the journey of the production. It is as if his soul were integrated with every fibre, of every number… his spirit inscribed in every dance routine!

The action was to take place in ‘The Marble Arch Theatre’, a location akin to a flat-pack, fold-out template, except of ‘Tardis’ proportions… But Ikea, this ain’t, honey! Oh nothis is the height of ‘purpose-built’, for a very definitive reason!

The deceptively-sparse, speakeasy set was amphitheatre perfection, in drawing the audience closer to the action. In order to accentuate the 360-degree effect, a great visual point-of-reference was a circular travellator-stage which rotated between inner and outer seating circles… meaning that, cleverly, the concept of ‘rows’ simply didn’t register. It was a superb mechanic with which to suspend reality, unite us all, and facilitate us swivelling in our seats, as if in trendy upmarket office chairs!

I relished the fact that, at no point, did I feel as though I were simply an observing part-of-the-furniture!

Quite the opposite, since, at this all-encompassing gem of a jamboree, we all felt part of the production, which upped-the-ante, where audience participation was concerned… From semi-skatting ”The Calypso BeBop”, to the collective conga, any nerves were assuaged by the excitement of lyrics literally falling, confetti-like, from the rafters accompanied by a rousing Caribbean rhythm, respectively.. and that was just Act One!

Notwithstanding the twenty-minute interval, this theatrical train rarely, if ever, decelerated.

As for the actors, they were swan-like… Hardly pausing for breath, they appeared to glide through proceedings, as smoothly as their dance sequences! Show-tunes were, at once, belted out with grit and gusto, whilst wistful with vocal reminiscence, so as to project pain and pathos, with tender poignancy. The clarity of narrative being served, par excellence by a company of players, both, front and back of house, at the apex of their collective game, optimising the entire arc of the engaging plot…

…which begins with our protagonist, “Nomax”, who is a washed-up, maxed-out drunk, becoming increasingly beholden to his vices. The worse for wear after yet another stint of night-life and libation, he is still intent upon continuing to party hard… Enter stage left, right and centre, five guys named ‘Moe’, with a short, sharp, shock of an introduction, determined to stop the downward spiral of women and wine, with song and dance… hopefully leading to redemption with Lorraine, the real love of Nomax’s life.

Edward Baruwa portrays the vexed, perplexed and dishevelled soak with distinct aplomb. The 5 Guys, “Little Moe”, “Know Moe”, “Big Moe”, “Four-Eyed Moe” and “Eat Moe” played by Idris Kargo, Dex Lee, Mykal Rand, Adrian Hansel and Emile Ruddock, sparkle like the best, vintage champagne, with soul-filled melodic recitations, as warming as a far-flung beach destination and as crystal-clear as the blue sea lapping upon the shores of their vocals.

Snazzily-dressed in the sharpest of threads, the Guys cut-a-cool-dash, in outfits, beautifully reflective and celebratory of the era, in a rainbow of coloured and textural references. For example, such bespoke stylistic touches as a punchy plaid for “Know Moe” and luminous lime-green circular spectacles on “Four-Eyed Moe” customized each quirky character trait with class and distinction. Synthesizing this attention-to-detail towards apparel with that of the choreography also made for impressive visual imagery. The finesse of Fosse under the spectrum spotlights gave way to full-on, Nicholas Brothers, at fever-pitch! The moves weren’t just slick, they were oil slick… and the more experimental they became, the better! Often weaving about the space with the ease of a shuttle through an antique loom, physical theatre was playfully explored, to powerful comedic effect. Yet, for all of the eye-catching clowning, moments of mimicry and mime, innovative transformation of props, the artistic intention was nailed, with every well-honed high-kick and picture-perfect pose, worthy of, undoubted, hours of relentless rehearsal!

Binding together this colossus of an ensemble endeavour, was the, simply stellar, jazz band… Silhouettes, but ever-present, behind intricate curtains in Act One, they dazzle during the overture in Act Two. No longer the exuberant, yet, enigmatic shadows, they become the main attraction, delighting us with samples of scintillating solo virtuosity, before receding, once more, into the ether of the energetic Louis Jordan-filled score… Out-of-sight, perhaps, but never out-of-earshot!

This put me in mind of another late, great Louis…namely, Armstrong, who once said “If you have to ask what jazz is, you’ll never know!”* Well, forget what you think you know, because, mark my words, you will get right-royally schooled by the majesty of this five-star musical… Compact, yet languid, fresh and free, this was total, high-impact theatre, awash with innovative twists and turns…

Yes, believe the hype, friends, and get down to The Marble Arch Theatre because I love, love, LOVED the rip-roaring rollercoaster ride through the age, with the 5 superfly Guys Named Moe and a standing ovation of satisfied, fellow theatre-goers emphatically agreed!

©A_F_R_O_W2018 All Rights Reserved


Click through for booking information about the smash hit show “5 Guys Named Moe” !

Deepest A_F_R_O_W-thanks to:-

Boisdale Restaurants, Team @Bubblz_Gigglz, Chloe at G-Gee PR and The Marble Arch Theatre for organising this outstanding, interactive experience!

(*Quote taken from




Find Yourself in Love….

You are my Masterpiece.

The one-off.

Unique, beyond the mould of Humanity.

 You emphasise Love…

I encourage you, that is who you are and submit, in tandem.

Resident within the constituency of significance… you shall always be of importance.

Your Force-of-Being is a present continuous mist, an open-ended miracle.

Brilliance, Civility and Truth create the three-piece suit within which you illuminate darkness, existent within this rarest of planetary art galleries.

Dressed to-the-nines in emotions-beyond-parentheses, spritzed by your eloquence, I commit to your falling ‘Hail Mary’.

I will meet you, where they Love boldly…

…and, whilst some may lose themselves there,

find yourself in Love!


©A_F_R_O_W2018 All Rights Reserved



Brunch at “The Devonshire Club” is style and sustenance, Square-d!!

… So, it was 11:30p.m on Saturday night…

I was ‘laptop-DJ’ing’, (or, ‘digging for soul’, as I like to call it!) and ‘settling’ on Donny Hathaway’s ‘This Christmas’, as repeat tune of choice…

… The fact that, the following day,  it was this very same song that greeted me on entering the comfort of “The Devonshire Club”, in anticipation of a beautiful brunch, simply confirmed that this afternoon was wrapped in, somewhat of, the ‘enchanted’…

The scenario was cosy and sparkly, with cocoons of Christmas-red leather seating, curved around one side of the space, whilst banquet-style set-ups were situated alongside the length of the garden window/ patio doors and adjacent to the most decadent buffet bar… Family tables were central demarcations of a refined room design, which maximised on its chic, boutique nature.

I chose the corner cove, noticing gleefully that I had, unknowingly, ‘happened‘ to accessorise, in a co-ordinating quilted, leather Jaeger bag! Taking a moment to decompress, with trusted Crombie coat removed, I began to indulge in repose and absorb the atmosphere… as much by osmosis, of a sublime selection of Motown Christmas classics, as by inhalation of the amazing epicurean delights being cooked à la minute, behind the brunch bar!

The menu was laden with delectable starters, mains and desserts, not to mention an impressively comprehensive wine and bubbles list. My eyes, flitting to-and-fro between tempting Colchester oysters, superior smoked salmon and sweetest sticky toffee pudding, pin-balled back, to rest upon my undoubted winner… truffled mac-and-(four, yea, four different types of) cheese! To say it was, nigh-on, indescribable would probably be the best way to explain the total taste sensation brought by every mouth-watering morsel… In this case, however, ‘moreish‘ completely fit the bill, particularly when an unlimited buffet was on offer for the entire four hours! Needless to say I was over-excited that this was to be my ‘office’ for an unforgettable oyster-filled, pre-Christmas Day, Sunday afternoon treat!

Yet, more-ish became, definitively, so much more

In addition to the rib-tickling bouts of laughter which often erupted, to a man and woman, The Devonshire Club team were beyond accommodating and the height of hospitality, in the most understated of ways… As for dress, all were super-elegantly-attired… in fact, the next James Bond could have been cast from any of the suited-and-booted male contingent!

Time passed without my noticing….

…until, of course, the moment of departure…but happily-filled and fuelled from my sapid spread, I was ready to express my gratitude to those whose camaraderie had truly made my gastronomic escapade.

Only until I was en route home and re-arranging my bag, did I actually notice the name of the lipstick which I had hastily-snatched and applied that morning, to be “Private Members Club”! On reflection, the perfect choice for the most perfect dining experience and most definitely a Club worth joining, not only for the fun, fine food and fizz to be had, but for the unfeigned friendships to be made!


©A_F_R_O_W2018 All Rights Reserved


The Devonshire Club

5 Devonshire Square, London, EC2M 4YD

(T) 020 3750 4545 ~ (E) 

(Twitter) @Devonshire_Club ~ (Facebook) @Devonshire.Members.Club ~ (Instagram) @devonshire_club


Sincere @A_F_R_O_W-appreciation, once again, to all at ‘The Devonshire Club’, with special mention to Krystle Osafo Jones, as well as Team @Bubblz_Gigglz, for organising this wonderful afternoon!




The Goss-pel According To Matt…

The night was shivering.

Even the rain was tapping the windowpane in submission. In search of compassion.

A door opened to a vocal undulation, warm enough to steam-press away the wrinkles of the day.

In response, followed a love-letter to sound, dotting the i’s of vocal and creative intention and inflection, whilst crossing the t’s of technique, tears, Truth.

Curled up at the foot of the laptop, I was content to become one with an imminent musical selection from Matt Goss, which I knew would cruise like a beguiling, classic Bentley… celebrating a songbook which I knew would shine like a city on a hill and beam like a lighthouse to articulate an emotive signpost.

I was justified to believe in my heightening expectations as, from Lewisham to Las Vegas, Ratpack to Rock, in excess of two memorable hours were to change through crooning gears of such greats as Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Kay Starr, Perry Como, Dinah Washington, Harry Connick Jr, Billie Holliday… and ever-onward.

The genius of this, the second Christmas compilation selected by Goss for “his favourite station in the world” of BBC Radio 2, would be the deftly-navigated hairpin turns visited by back-to-back features, allowing for revelatory anecdotes, with profound and courageous destinations of sentiment.

Winding along the, oft, searing side-roads of Donny Hathaway’s angst-infused renderings in ‘Song For You’, served to expand significant apertures into Matt’s life… The self-penned triumph of ‘Mustang’, with lavish strings and Sting’s ubiquitous hit, ‘Englishman In New York’ concisely charted the course of erstwhile love and the acute loneliness of feeling like a small fish in a big pond, respectively… Yet, it is with respect to following the poignant pathways of Roberta Flack’s ‘Killing Me Softly’, which led to the most painful revelation… that of it being played at the funeral of his beloved Mother, Carol.

Such intensely personal moments unified Matt, the presenter and we, the listeners, with experiences, swooping and spiralling into our collective soul. However, just before sorrow had the occasion to settle, rather than move through the experiential labyrinth, we were expertly manoeuvred into the surreal and mesmeric sounds of ‘White Room’ by rock triumvirate, ‘Cream’, dedicated to his Father. We were to be further uplifted by, yet more, divine back-to-back explorations via his mentor, the perennially-masterful, Stevie Wonder, to whom he attributed the extraordinary “ability to take words and describe a complete movie…” How wonderful it was to be wrapped up by the perfect pop-of-sound delivered in ‘What Christmas Means To Me’, whilst being encouraged to indulge in ‘Love’s In Need Of Love Today’, “…a song… seven minutes and six seconds long… [which is] a luxury that most musicians don’t have anymore”…

In a touching tribute to George Michael, “a generous man, a loving man [who] was blessed to be a great songwriter” and “a massive influence” on Goss, ‘Jesus To A Child’ would symbolize an unexpected first-hand flashback for me, to cool December days and eves, living in Northern France. Reflective of the New York recollection, I, too, was very much aware of being away from my precious London but, equally, as excited to be on a new adventure, breaking new ground in the unfurling story of my life.

“Tapestry-of-life kind of legends” whisked me back to the present…

I found it to be a particularly charming example of the song-writing eloquence with which to describe the collaboration between David Bowie and Bing Crosby, from he who has been donned ”The New King of Vegas”*! Matt is, of course, entirely correct in such a description of the delightfully unique pairing and was absolutely inspired in the placement of ‘Peace On Earth/ Little Drummer Boy’ after the sumptuous ‘Favourite Things’, as stylishly performed by Tony Bennett, accompanied by deluxe orchestration which hopped and skipped like stones across a sinuous river, glistening in setting sunlight.

As if this most delectable chocolate box of treats could not get any better, the melodic trip through time signatures and tales was brought to a momentous resolution with Otis Redding’s version of ‘White Christmas’, an absolute classic which, to me, has always been an ultimate solid-gold soul gem, deliciously transposed through the dynamic medium of Redding’s agonisingly mellifluous vocal chords…

Quite possibly my favourite thing of the entire broadcast was, in fact, the spirit in which it was transmitted. Matt, not only, rolled out the Christmas red carpet with a cadence of class, but captured the imagination by metaphorically embracing emotion with sentimental croons, themselves, harmoniously aligned with concept tunes. Wholeheartedly-expressed through the viewfinder of family and underpinned by love, his was the festive gift that kept on giving, which saw us all sublimely into the wee small hours of the most wonderful day of the year…


©A_F_R_O_W2018 All Rights Reserved


”Matt Goss Until Midnight” on BBC Radio 2 is available online, for the next 18 days at:-


All quotes from “Matt Goss Until Midnight”, BBC Radio 2, 24/12/2017 except ‘New King of Vegas’* which is from MGM Resorts.


An Evening At The Mirage:-

Click through for ticket availability and further details, regarding the amazing Matt Goss Residency at 1OAK!


Social Media

@mattgoss ~ @TeamMattGoss ~ @MattGossMusic ~ @TheMirageLV ~ @1OAKLV

MGM Resorts ~ iammattgoss (Facebook)