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The Legendary Susan Cadogan

The First Lady of reggae music, with little old us doing the backing and support!

What an INCREDIBLE experience! It's now been four days since our performance with Susan, and we haven't scraped ourselves from off the ceiling yet!

The Background

We were in the studio in January (doing some Jamming) when the enquiry came through from Steve Davis of Sally Brown's to ask if we'd be interested in supporting and backing Susan at his venue. Of course we said YES! What a fantastic opportunity to play music with literal living reggae history! It was all confirmed rather quickly, and we were chuffed from the second it was!

Back in the very early days of The Reggulites, when we were a little band trying to find our way, we were offered the same opportunity, but due to the people with the connection leaving the band (that they started?...weird) it never happened, and it's always been something we've looked back on with sad faces, so it was amazing to have the opportunity again and at this stage in the game, where we're really sure who we are and what we're about, and have solid musicians in the line up.

Developments and Sad Stuff

It hasn't all been plain sailing for this gig to happen. It was going smoothly until catastrophe hit. With the overwhelming loss of Sally Brown's, Steve struggled on to try and keep the gig in Bradford, but it just wasn't happening, and so he approached his good friends, and friends of the band, The Night Owl and asked if they would take the booking. It was a YES from Mazzy & Clare, and so the gig was to go on, in our very own hometown of Birmingham - Birmingham really scored a goal there! Steve would still be involved, doing some vinyl DJing on the night, and it was all good!

Getting to know Susan

I can't explain to you how wonderful this lady is. I've been watching her videos of performances for years now. The stage presence, the personality and the vocal sparkle is something else. But nothing prepared me for what an approachable and beautiful character she has on a person-to-person basis. She's such a nice person!! We connected over emails and discussed requirements and the set list and she sent over the recordings to work from as soon as everything was confirmed - true professional. However, we didn't actually get to meet Susan until the night before the gig! That's correct, we had 1 rehearsal to bring the show to you!

Robannas, Chinese and Great Vibes

Susan joined us on Friday night at Robannas and it was great vibes from the start. We'd ordered some chinese food for her because she hadn't had anywhere to grab food from near her Air BnB, and we all introduced ourselves etc etc over chinese. Sweet Sensimilia brought Izzy along to rehearsal, and he knows Susan from way way back, so that was vibes. And then just like that, we had an extra vocalist on the gig! It was great for me to finally perform with Sensi - other band members have shared a stage with him before, but not me, and I love me some Sensi.

Photo taken by Dan Spencer (Audio Hooligan)

I have to say here, we weren't expecting to have our backing vocalist, Dawn, with us for the gig, as we'd booked it before she joined the band, but when Sensi was coming, we thought we just had to ask her to please come and join us, and God bless her, she sorted it, and she turned up, and looked amazing, and sang amazingly and is just amazingly amazing.

Photo taken by Dan Spencer (Audio Hooligan)

Photo taken by Dan Spencer (Audio Hooligan)

From the second Susan walked into the rehearsal room, she lit the place up. It gets said a lot about people and sometimes it can lose it's meaning, but I truly mean it - she genuinely has a glow. She's kind, she's funny and she has such command - you know that she knows exactly what she wants and she knows how to communicate it in the best ways.

We played through some of the track, changed up the set list a little for fun and giggles, and we were rocking! Towards the end of the night, Steve arrived to take Susan back to her digs, so it was great to see Steve and have a little audience of 1 to practice on!

Photo taken by Dan Spencer (Audio Hooligan)

The big day

I was so excited on Saturday! Excited and nervous - because without a little nerves, the magic doesn't come out, I reckon. We arrived at The Night Owl and had a lovely sound check. The sun was still shining over us and the day was just blessed feeling. We took full advantage of the sound check, because after all the prep for Susan's set, and the recent weddings with their own setlists (not the usual set) we hadn't actually had much time to play our stuff. It felt great to be back in our element!

There was a little bit of confusion between the venue opening time and the ticket's stated opening time, and although it wasn't our thing, I'd like to say sorry to the people who arrived early and couldn't get in straight away. I hope you found somewhere cool to hang out until you could come back! They definitely came back because I saw them!

Photo taken by Dan Spencer (Audio Hooligan)

The place was BUZZING! We absolutely love playing at The Night Owl because the crowd are always so awesome. There were a heck of a lot of familiar faces, so thank you all for coming back and supporting us once again, and for those we didn't know, I hope we did something you liked whilst you waited for Susan to come on!

When we got on stage for the first set, the atmosphere was absolutely electric! Like I said, it's been a hot minute since we got to play our actual set, so we were just loving it! The band were tight as feck and we were just having so much fun with it.

Towards the end of the first half, Susan arrived and was watching us from up on the mezzanine in the clouds. I can't explain to you what that feels like - playing to someone who has had so much amazing experience and big things happen in the music industry, and they're watching you while you play your stuff and you're just hoping to heaven that they enjoy it!

Photo taken by Dan Spencer (Audio Hooligan)

And then, after a short break, it was time to welcome the legendary Susan Cadogan to the stage.

If I tell you that the next 45 minutes were a blur, will you believe me? I was absolutely mesmerised. The crowd response was just UP! But I can't say much else - I was somewhere in a different world, between concentrating like my life depended on it and falling in love for the first time! There are no words.

And OH LORD the duets! Susan said what a great singer our Sugar man is, and don't we know it! We are so lucky to have his vocals, his front-man personality, his incredible leadership and our lovely friend.

Whilst I'm on the subject, I must say a huge thank you to James Crosdale for joining us on the bass. He has been non-stop gigging all week, and he was rushing around to get to us for the rehearsal on Friday in all the cricket traffic (Dammit, Edgbaston) and he came straight from another gig on Saturday and didn't even have chance to go home. We love you, Sir Crosdale.

Photo taken by Dan Spencer (Audio Hooligan)

I also have to tell you how impressed Susan was with our little Harry Bryan. To quote:

'He's little but he's talliwah'

What a drummer!

Photo taken by Dan Spencer (Audio Hooligan)

Clive looked the absolute dogs wotsits and played so well! I have no idea how that man manages to be so cool all the time. Love my Clive. He's had the Susan set nailed since we dished out the recordings to be honest! He's worked well-ard!

Photo taken by Dan Spencer (Audio Hooligan)

And Izzy wasn't supposed to be doing this gig originally, so he had a lot less time to practice everything, yet he pulled it all together and worked so hard for us, and we've got nothing but respect for that man. Also, we stole the song he asked for us to play at his wedding and put it in the set, and it went down really well, so thank you and love you Izzy.

Photo taken by Dan Spencer (Audio Hooligan)

The Aftermath

As I said at the beginning of this blog, I don't think any of us have come down from Cloud 9 yet. It doesn't seem real, and yet we did it, and we are so so humbled and privileged to have done so. We've had some great feedback from Susan and really hope we can work together in the future.

We've been sent lots of videos people took on the night of the performances and we've got a good selection of them on YouTube for everyone to see.

We're just overwhelmed at everyone's feedback from Saturday - we do what we do to make you happy, and when you're happy we're overwhelmingly happy.

I was so overwhelmed with all the emotions after the set on Saturday that I sat in Sugar's car and had a little cry to myself! Anyone who knows us knows we don't expect amazing to just happen, we work at it, and if we get it even a little bit amazing, we're over the moon, so thank you, everyone.

And then right at the end of the night, Angus turned up to give us some love because he'd just finished work, and I nearly cried again!

Photo taken by Dan Spencer (Audio Hooligan)

Shout Outs

Big shout out to Steve Davis for putting us forward to perform with Susan. Without you, it couldn't have happened. I do think it's well funny you forgot your records and couldn't DJ, but we're so glad you were there anyway. Also, the poster was beautiful, and I have stolen a copy for my office wall.

Huge thank you to Mazzy & Clare at The Night Owl for taking on the gig and ensuring it went ahead. You guys <3

Massive thank you to Nan and Grandad for joining us on the night and being amazing people. Also huge thanks to brother Kenneth for joining us - it was so great to see you again and we don't see you enough, so come out to play more often please and thank you.

Also brother Michael for coming at the end of the night after he'd finished working - we love you and your support of us.

Huge thank you to Dan and Sharon for making the tunes fire and taking the pictures and putting the tunes on BootBoy Radio soon! So very cool. There's a jingle. I'm speechless.

Massive props to those members of Friendly Fire who came to see us and to say Hi to Susan and support their band member Jake Cunningham whilst he did the sound. Friendly Fire have performed with Susan Cadogan a number of times I believe, but they were so supportive and just wonderful, so thank you.

Shout out to the best-dressed-main-man Kirk from AC30's for joining the crowd and paying respects to Susan Cadogan as well! It was great to finally meet you, and it's wonderful how Birmingham Reggae Music love Susan Cadogan.

Massive love to Liv Linley, lead singer of RudeSix, for skanking the night away and being a gorgeous and cool lady. And massive love to Angus for coming and letting us finish our night with another Reggulites family member.

Big massive love to Errol Cubase Burk from One Love Band for joining us and being a beautiful human.

And all the love in the world to the wonderful Jane Guest, Susannah and Gaynor for bringing the Sutton vibes to the place!

Thank you to Nev, who gave us amazing feedback and made us all go 'Wow' with what he said to us. It truly is appreciated.

And anyone who we don't know the name of, but who came to see us, we love each and every one of you and thank you for sharing this amazing experience with The Reggulites.

Penultimately, I'd like to thank each band member for the cracking performances they gave, and for all the hard work and effort and care they've put into making this happen.

And last but definitely not-in-the-slightest-bit least, a humongous thanks to Susan Cadogan, the First Lady of Reggae Music, for allowing us to experience your light and for giving The Reggulites a chance to make music with you. We're so grateful.

Photo taken by Dan Spencer (Audio Hooligan)

We're performing next at Albert's Shed, Shrewsbury, for International Reggae Day, and we can't wait to play some seriously heavy reggae for a new crowd!



Please check out The Night Owl:

Please check out our YouTube:

Please check out RudeSix, where we get Harry and Angus from, and sometimes Helen and Anna go and play:

Check out Friendly Fire here:

Check out the AC30s here:

Check out One Love Band here:

To find BootBoy Radio, look here:

Don't forget to wear us to festivals this summer #summer2023

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