Catch A Fire
Urban Soul Orchestra collaborated with Jazz Jamaica All Stars and Brinsley Forde, lead singer of reggae greats Aswad on an orchestral reworking of Bob Marley and the Wailers' iconic album as part of the Lively Up! Festival.
In 2012, the Catch A Fire project invited an 8 piece string section from Urban Soul Orchestra, first in to the rehearsal room and later on a national tour.
Brinsley Forde collaborated closely with USO musicians, even trying to learn a thing or two from one of our talented violinists:
Gary Crosby, Executive Artistic Director of Tomorrow's Warriors, sat in on rehearsals in September at the Southbank Centre:
Had an incredible rehearsal today with Jazz Jamaica, Urban Soul Orchestra and Brinsley Forde at Southbank Centre ahead of our Catch A Fire tour. Today was the first time we'd rehearsed with the strings section. Awesome! Everybody stepped up a level hearing the music played so large - 30 musicians - and we're also adding choirs on several of the shows. Even more awesome!
Our players then toured 17 venues with Catch a Fire, performing in Bristol, Southampton, Birmingham, Leeds, Leicester, Edinburgh. The performance wowed audiences with a sell-out show at the Queen Elizabeth Hall at the Southbank Centre, London:
A spirited duel between (USO) violinists Stephen Hussey and Miles Brett ensued sparking waves of spontaneous applause.
Ancient To Future, Paul Brad, October 2012.
The show was also featured in the Financial Times.
In July 2013, Catch A Fire returned to the Southbank Centre, into the larger Queen Elizabeth II Hall at the Royal Festival Hall for an epic encore to the critically acclaimed 2012 tour that took the UK by storm.
Stir It Up, the latter opening the second set with a great string arrangement involving the fiddling duo of violinist Miles Brett and Stephen Hussey. The audience got on to their feet and it all felt so natural.
Stephen Graham, marlbank.net