Brian Clough ruined my childhood. It’s a bold statement, but I firmly believe it’s true. Before we start, I don’t want to bring these facts up, it is purely in support of a story. The team he managed at the time, (and I can hardly bring myself to write this, never mind say it) Nottingham Forest, were while thankfully a little past winning championships and European Cups, were still one of the top clubs in the country, regularly in Europe and challenging for, and winning domestic cups. Living close to the Nottinghamshire border but fiercely loyal to my own team it made it worse. For my team (Leicester City) were not winning anything. Matches would have been a good start. Trophies were not really on the agenda. It made me very resistant of Nottingham as a whole, it people and everything else.
Nottingham born singer Harleighblu had some work to do when we discovered her. However, she melted my resistance with her upfront promo track ‘Enough Now’ which appeared in April, and now she’s gone and done it again with ‘Play me’, her first official single, due out on 29th July.
Still only 21 years old, the Tru Thoughts signed artist has her debut album following on in the autumn, titled ‘Forget me not’, and if ‘Play me’ is an indication of the standard on the rest of the album, we’re going to be in for a real treat. It starts with this real hip-hop funky drum break, with her unmistakably soulful and slightly (but deliciously) gritty voice carrying the track over the bass and keys playing the same figure. Its a slightly spooky, but totally funky sound. To emphasise the point, horns join with the riff and it positively drips with soul. Of course there’s shades of the usual soul suspects in Harleighblu’s delivery, from Badu to Winehouseshe’s – but she’s very much her own person too.
So here we are. I fallen for Harleighblu and her records, despite everything. I’ve got this horrible feeling it’s me thats being played.