Friends-&-Family @ the-roadhouse 13.07.02

Grand Central founding father & original Friends-&-Family resident Mark Rae makes a rare DJ appearance before disappearing altogether to concentrate on final stages of releasing his first solo LP 'Rae Road' (2002 Grand Central) in the autumn. Alongside him tonight is firm Fat City favourite, Manchester chanteuse Veba, who graces 2 tracks on the forthcoming album as beautifully as she both dominated & illuminated Rae-&-Christian debut 'Northern Sulphuric Soul' (1998 Grand Central)

Here her talented tonsils provide soulful mic-vibes throughout Mark Rae's set where usually resident MC Kwasi Asante would be found. Together they also showcase their recent collaborations ('Lavish', 'Fold Or Flower'). She even (nervously) DJs herself later on. No end, it seems, to the lady's latent talents! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aiFkwp8TG8o&feature=related) About time for a big career comeback for this gorgeous & sadly slept-on voice I reckon!

Photographing Veba was always a pleasure. Her soul burned brightly enough in the murky Mancunian darkness for me whenever she sang. Being fortunate to capture a few of those precariously precious moments on film is something of which I am very proud

Eventual LP/CD 'Rae Road' co-produced with Mike Ball (Dual Control) was a much looser affair than his other production-partnership with Steve Christian (Rae-&-Christian) harking back to earlier cut-&-paste Fat City hip-hop & ahead to dancehall reggae, featuring guest vocals from Joseph Cotton, Jamaican singer whose music career spans decades, as well as old Mancunian friends (& family) Spikey T & Veba . First track to see light of day though was oddball off-beat instrumental but still typically (Northern Quarter) Manc 'Lobster'
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