Review: Premier Gospel Awards 2017

Rachel Kerr and Becca Folkes sing with the Reapers Choir

Retro is cool again. There’s nothing quite like a little dose of nostalgia to bring back happy memories from yesteryear. So in celebrating the cutting edge of gospel music in the UK at the Premier Gospel Awards 2017, the odd sprinkle of old school was welcome.

First, we have to mention G Force. A decade after their MOBO win, the trio reformed for one night only. It was great to hear Bigger Than again, complete with the lyric change replacing Hi5 for Snapchat. The Jordan Family also picked up the mic again after a long hiatus. The members have success in their own right in many cases but the special occasion called for a reunion. Man, that family’s big!

In terms of the awards, we saw some of the winners build on their success from last year. Volney Morgan and New-Ye, and Lurine Cato won the same awards in consecutive years. Noel Robinson also became a double winner, picking up Best Male on the heels of his Best Album win last year.

Fresh meat

Best Group winners Zoe Grace with Faith Child

But on the night we expected to see one Best Newcomer announced, in actual fact we got two. Purist Ogboi won the Best Newcomer prize but this was also the night when Zoe Grace arrived. They did a mammoth performance on stage and then picked up the award for Best Group. Their appearance on stage was their first ever live performance. They told us after they were nervous but you couldn’t tell. Keep an eye out for those two.

The old school flavour didn’t end with the reunions though. The ceremony finished with a full blown concert bursting with old school sing-along favourites. Marky T, Nadine Marshall and St Andrew gave their own version of Donnie McClurkin’s Caribbean Medley. Others, including the Reapers Choir, Rachel Kerr and Becca Folkes added to the post-awards party with some gospel classics.

Last year’s event was difficult to top but this year, Premier Gospel nailed their ‘difficult second album’ award show. The best part is that it shone a big fat spotlight on British artists. We love to support UK music with a real message and we join with everyone that does the same. Long may it continue!

Just like old times: G Force reunite a decade after their MOBO win

The winners

Best Female – Lurine Cato

Best Video – Bobby Bovell (Love, Love)

Best Song – Leke (Unstoppable)

Best Newcomer – Purist Ogboi

Choir of the Year – Volney Morgan & New-Ye

Best International – Travis Greene

Best Male – Noel Robinson

Best Group – Zoe Grace

Best Album – Sarah Téibo (Walk With Me)

Lady T, Charles Koranteng, Theo Manderson and Yinka from Premier Gospel celebrate with Best Female Lurine Cato

Disclaimer: The writer of this article also works for Premier Gospel

PS: Hi5 is still a thing. Who knew?


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