Beaux Saunders & Shean Williams @Traffic, Holborn

Running late and rushing to get from home to Holborn in 20mins, I honestly thought that I’d arrive to see Beaux halfway through her set. As soon as I stepped foot out of Holborn tube station, I went into the maps application on my iPhone and began to follow the route in realtime, concentrating on the blue dot moving ever closer to the red pin, I thought I was going to be held up by around one hundred cyclists who were led by a bunny -similar to Frank in Donnie Darko. As I crossed the road, I heard a heavy bassline from a distance coming from what seemed like a dead end. To my amazement a further hundred cyclists came cruising around the corner led by a cyclist towing a mahooosive sound box, seriously. As he cycled closer, with an army of cyclists cruising behind him my body started to shake from the bass of the speaker box. I don’t know the name of the song, nor what it may have been but it was playing the dirtiest and deepest bassline known to man, woman, and child. The bassline was a weapon of mass destruction, if it was a soundclash the cyclist would easily be able to unleash the speaker box on the unsuspecting sound-youts of their adversaries.

Team Beaux

When I arrived at Traffic I ended up bumping into Team Beaux: Chantelle, Beaux, family and band members, which was bonus because I was able to have a brief exchange of pleasantries and conversation with the entourage. Once inside I held my spot in the corner waiting for Beaux to hot the stage. The DJ was playing some of the most soulful sounds I had heard, underneath a barrage of conversation comparable to being in a crowded exam room and being able to hear everyone’s voices at once as if you could read their minds. If the turnout was for Miss Saunders, she already had garnered a loyal and hefty following, after playing just a few shows.

Talking to Chantelle, Beaux’s manager, I discovered that there’s a few A&Rs from many big record label and independents sniffing around, trying to get their teeth into the next big thing. Chantelle comes across as a genuine individual who believes in her artists. Managing not only Beaux but another producer/mc outfit, Chantelle, and business partner Matt, are dedicated to getting the job done correctly ensuring her artists fulfil their potential. She’s managed Beaux since October 2010 and has teamed her up with producers both in the UK and abroad.
Our brief conversation cleared up so much because it managed to fill the gaps in my knowledge. I was wondering how Beaux had managed to achieve such a universal sound so early, so it all made sense to know that someone was there to connect the dots to ensure that someone so gifted becomes someone great. My perception of Idle Management is a place that works towards making dream a reality by putting substance in front of all else. With this mantra at the forefront of their operation, I have no doubt in my mind that Idle Management and their artists will be very successful in the future.

Beaux opening up at around 10 o’clock and had the crowd swaying from the get go. I finally realised who Beaux reminds me of vocally, Melody Gardot, on a real. I think it’s the way her vocals are warm and sultry. Her rendition of the Ignition Remix went down a treat, the place suddenly erupted!!! I witnessed gun fingers in the air, whistles and all sorts. Although Beaux’s set was quite short, she did have everyone singing along and busting moves -surprising as Chantelle told me she’s only had a few shows yet she has a mahoooosive following, I suspect it’s the charming voice and the music in all honesty because it’s got me hooked.

To read Beaux’s Apr 17th Up In The Ear feature click here

Everything was all rosy, I gave a card with my contact details to the photographer so I could get some footage and pictures to use in my future posts and he advised me to stick around because something special was about to happen. I thought to myself whats the harm in staying a few more minutes because you never know what could happen…

And then there was Shean Williams, dude shut it down totally! He’s tore the roof down with uptempo rhythms and hard guitars riff. Hints of light and heavy synths teamed up with heavy basslines ensured Shean Williams’ rhythm section was tighter than a virgin bride, no matter how much lubricant you tried to use, you’d never get past it. The rhythm section was tight, synchronised but it had this groove to it that had you swaying. Shean Williams and the band demonstrated their dynamism wizardry, taking you on a roller coaster ride of rhythms, quantisation and crazy chord shifts. I had never heard of Shean Williams until this late evening in Holborn. His music is a fusion of Funkadelic and Jamiroquai, with roots firmly in gospel music reminiscent of a Kirk Franklin in regards to the way he controls both the crowd and his obedient band who’ve mastered their instruments as individuals to the point where they seem to flow effortlessly as one. It was similar to watch something divine at work because I’ve never seen a tighter band in my life. Each member of the back playing their position to perfection, it wouldn’t surprise me if they all grew up together or landed on earth from the same divine guiding lightsource. I’d deffinately pay to see these guys again, both as instrumentalists, a four piece or playing under Shean Williams. I urge all artists, instrumentalists, producers, and performers to sit and study these guys because Shean Williams and the band is exactly how live music should sound, it’s exactly how music should be executed and presented to the masses. Yea I was bobbing my head from the get go, from the Black and Yellow instrumental cover, yes I was pulling the weird faces upon hearing the rolling basslines over the tightest drum playing in all of the land, I was in awe of these guys. They really were something special, on this day I discovered a diamond.

When I thought they were done for the evening, they returned to the stage for what I think was the final time -I left shortly after for the last train. This time the band hit the stage for an instrumental rendition of Jay-Z‘s Show Me What You Got, if there were any doubts about the tightness or skillet of the band from pending critics, this introduction to part two of the musical onslaught, severed all doubts that floated in the air.
This time the set was more upbeat and included much more covers, everything from Jessie J‘s Do It Like A Dude, to Labyrinth’s Let The Sun Shine. For me personally Do It Like A Dude was far superior but the crown jewel in the cover parade was Rhihanna’s Only Girl In The World, they shut down Traffic, and had the crowd eating out of the palm of their hands. The Rhi rendition had every spectator in a trace, I looked around and saw everyone dancing -some out of time and others just let loose. The beginning of the rendition was that Curtis Mayfield/Shaft type of funk; the wah guitar riffs, the basslines rolling smoothly beneath it, the light shuffled hats from the drummer, Shean Williams had everyone guessing because when he had introduced the song he was rather vague, saying something like:

In rehearsals with the band, I told them if we’re going to do this we had to do something different.

I expected something else, and the band toyed with expectation because they really surprised me, I didn’t even know they what song it was until I heard the light keys, or at least the faintest synth pads before BAM!!!!!!! They went in!!! They had everyone up dancing and on their feet, the guitar solo from the lead guitarist was fucking brilliant!!!! Oh my fucking god!!! Thinking of it I’m like boi…

Carlo Fusiello

Slash who?! Clapton who?! Hendrix who!?… Nah Uh fam!!! Don’t chat shit to me about lead guitarists when you ain’t heard the dapper dan gorgan Carlo Fusiello!!! Know thyself roooodbwoy! Gemme tho famalamadingbizzle!

On a real you lot gotta understand that I can die happily after posting this knowing that I, as someone who loves music, witnessed the greatest show in the world. You’ve heard Motown backing bands, you’ve heard all the old soul and jazz records but let’s face it, you revere them oldies because they’re either dead or prominent for the era that they create and changed a whole culture. People like Shean Williams, The Band -I think they’re called or I shall call them ‘The Don Daddas’, and Beaux Saunders, and I’ll call her band ‘The Frenchies’ after French and Saunders, are the future. Shean is there, his band are ready to take on any contenders -whether it be Questlove, Slash, Stevie, Muddy Waters (Tryna think of a bassist), because they are fucking ill!, and Beaux is shutting it down after only a few shows so she’ll grow if she continues to be guided by an amazing team, whilst learning from Shean and The Daddas.

Tonight was powerful and I’d like to thank Beaux’s manager, Chantelle for inviting me to Traffic because had she not had invited me, I would never have discovered the diamond that is Shean Williams and The Don Daddas. I’ve already put the 14th May Traubadour show in my diary and now Shean joins the likes of Beaux on the Up In The Ear radar.

I pledge my allegiance to great artists and good music.

If any of you ever misplace my card just ensure you add the email to the mailing list so I know when the next show, release, or visual needs broadcasting.

Beaux Saunders Facebook:

Beaux Saunders Twitter:

Beaux Saunders Youtube:

Shean Williams Facebook:

Shean Williams Twitter:

Shean Williams Youtube:


(Written in the venue between sets, and on my way home -really wanted to mention that because I’m so fucking amped after hearing such amazing live music.)

And by the way… This is a fucking tune!!!!!! Selekta HAUL AND BOMBOCLAAART PULL IT UP LIKE A MILLION TRILLION TIMES YA ZIMME!!!


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