Emerging Icons at The Paralympics- Day Five: Raphaella, Tankus The Henge, Samuel J and Wille and the Bandits

Raphaella made a welcome return to the Olympic Park for the Paralympics today- in between her busy schedule of writing, recording and charity work. Yes, this lady really is something else.

Raphaella made a welcome return to the Olympic Park for the Paralympics today- in between her busy schedule of writing, recording and charity work. Yes, this lady really is something else.

Mirroring the warmth of the day in a little pocket of pop music, the striking singer and her band made a welcome addition to the day's schedule. It's not only their sound that's warm either. Raphaella- who is quite happy to stand on stage in front of hundreds of strangers and say 'You can find me on Facebook, my name's like the Ninja Turtle, but the girl version' -is such a charming personality to be introduced to.

To be present at one of her sets is to be made thoroughly welcome- she would most likely offer a brew and a biscuit if she could, but she's kinda a bit busy with the whole singing thing. And you may think that this is a poetic lie- but she literally did make the sun come out. Now that is impressive.

Here's an exclusive acoustic performance of 'Just A Girl' she did with us in the run up to the Games:

Tankus The Henge brought their unique brand of vaudeville-meets-Tom Waits tuneage for a number of dates through the Olympics and we were glad to have them return for the Paralympic Games. Having decided that our stage looked like 'a shark's mouth that's turned into a UFO', this fine band of urchins bravely performed surrounded by its futuristic teeth, leaving the enamoured lunchtime crowd thoroughly warmed.

Purveying madness and melodies in equal measure, there were theatrics that ranged from stage-leaping to creatively cathartic screaming. It encapsulated the beauty of true performance that this stage intends to celebrate 'til we pass out. Jaz Delorean remains to be the most impossibly charismatic frontman we've witnessed for some time, inviting the Olympic audience to feel welcome and get involved with the party- and he's a guy you just can't say no to. Here they are performing a little tribute to Emerging Icons with the brilliant peculiarity we've come to know and love:

Now, we know we've said in previous blogs that we like the simplicity of the sound one man and his guitar can make on stage- but if there's one exception to the rule it's Samuel J. Not because we don't like it... but because he takes something so straightforward and manages to twist and bend the conventions of acoustic music until he stands as a one man masterpiece. Using a loop pedal to create a huge sound, he fills the stage with his smooth, yet husky vocals and visually striking look. Standing tall, tanned with blue eyes, blonde hair and a winning smile, it was possibly more than just his melodies that got the ladies swooning. (The men too.) Here he is performing 'Mean Love' live at the Olympic Park:

Rounding up the line-up for the day was a big, beefy dose of RAWK. Luckily the name didn't get the guys down at security panicking, as Wille and the Bandits were absolutely incredible when they descended on our stage. Technically tight, exceptionally talented musicians, Wille looked a gent in his top hat- the dreads emerging from the top just added to the look he was going for.

They really rocked it getting a few people dancing and were visually really captivating. Wille's vocals are insane - coming from one of those voices that sounds quite soft in speech then like a 60-year-old blues rocker who has smoked about 1000 fags a day from the moment he sings. It was written in the stars that his destiny was with rock the moment those pipes were bestowed upon him. There's been Johnny Cash. There's been Rod Stewart. And now, there's Wille. And his Bandits.

Here they are telling us what they think their experience with Emerging Icons at London 2012 will do for them in the future:


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