At the Paralympics dreams will be made, feats of extraordinary athletes will amaze and records will be broken. Whilst these Games shape up to be the biggest and most impressive of it's kind the world has ever seen, we can't help but feel chuffed to bits to be part of it. The artists we brought down today all boast so much talent we were proud to showcase them to the world.
It's hard to do anything but enjoy your day when you've got a band like Annaca to keep you entertained. Attacking the stage in a whirlwind of bright colours and rich, velvety sound; the Brighton lot transformed this serene section of the Olympic Park into a show-stopping cross between a Parisian cabaret and travelling Victorian theatre. Annaca herself becomes the rhythm rippling through the performance, moving with the style and grace of an actress consumed by passion for her performance. Sounds intense? Well, it was. And we loved it. There were a few squaddies getting into it too... so you heard it here first. Gypsy jazz are the Queen's forces genre of choice. Fact. Here they are telling us all about their Olympic experience:
Another exceptional songwriter to grab the attention of the Olympic visitors was charming Windsorian Edward Bell. Although perhaps not as royal as that introduction may suggest, he has actually put performances in for her Majesty many times during his singing the career. With the glorious pop vocals fit for the soundtrack to any romance, Edward gripped his audiences with his bittersweet storytelling and the powerfully moving crescendos of his piano-driven songs. A thoroughly polite chap, he was not at all shy about having a little chat with his crowd, which was as good as going around and shaking everyone's hand. We all felt welcome and it really helped in letting everyone enjoy his music. We liked his seamless ability to plug his single, 'Where We've Been'. (Wow, we've even been charmed into doing it too.) Before he left, we were absolutely spoilt rotten with an exclusive unplugged performance of 'Better For The Rain'. Check it out:
From suave to sexy, indie rockers Auction For The Promise Club sizzled the faces off their crowd. With vocalist Zoe as the helm like a racy Captain Pugwash, she steered the performance with the clout of any great front woman- and it's so hard to not see The Joy Formidable's Ritzy Bryan echoed with each ballsy attack of her guitar. But that's not to say that the other duo of this trio didn't belt us just as hard. Guitarist Perran and drummer Toby commit so much to their meticulous craft that we were held for a minute or two while they tended to a 'technical difficulty'... although we couldn't detect a single fault in the impressively tight set. Ah, well. There's nowt wrong with a bit of perfectionism. With the sun co-operating and creating a relaxed atmosphere of pure toastiness, loads of people made their way down enjoy the lush, greenery and some great music. They're a really lovely bunch of people, which you can see from this little chat we had atop a scenic hill when they joined us for the Olympics:
It's proved to be a very exciting couple of weeks for London-based alt-pop band Battle of You. They began whipping up a bit of a storm amongst the Emerging Icons community last week after being picked for airplay on Absolute Radio by Pete Donaldson. Having heard their belting track 'Rebecca' on the airwaves, we just had to get them in for our Paralympic line-up... and it's one of the best decisions we've ever made. Bringing fun, good vibes and plenty of dancing to the Bandstand in the afternoon, they soon caught the attention of the vast crowds amassed around the Emerging Icons stage- as well as some notable media types. Yes, it was a very pleasant surprise to see BBC reporters with their cameras down for the day, detailing the extra entertainment on offer at London 2012- and who better to demonstrate the excitement of what's going on than this bunch? Having a week being bookended by national airplay and an appearance on BBC London's 10 o'clock News must have been quite something. It really is worth the blood, sweat and tears that goes into running a small business when something like this happens.
Two days down and a week to go- and we've already been overloaded with excitement. Come back tomorrow to hear all about the fantastic line-up due to brighten up a few more unexpected faces...