Those who didn’t know before know now. There is endless talent within the Leacock family. And based on what transpired Sunday night at Mahalia’s Corner – Christmas Edition, the younger generation is quite capable of carrying on the tradition of excellence.
The family held the attention of the audience at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre from the first note of their first song Luther Vandross’ This is Christmas until their final note which was Whitney Houston’s Joy To The World.
All eyes were on the 15 which was made up of blood relatives and in-laws and they did not disappoint. They were absolutely superb, and the packed room at LESC made sure the family knew exactly how they felt about them. There were multiple screams, shouts and standing ovations.
Taking the lead and narrating on behalf of the family was songbird Nikita Browne. She gave the occasional anecdotes which made the show even more entertaining.
It was an “extremely emotional” night for the family. But they admitted to the media that they were not only emotional because they were performing as a unit but because they were missing one of their own, a well-known face and icon in the Barbados gospel arena – James Leacock. So no wonder then when they sang his song Love Him All Through the Year tears began to flow. Stephen Leacock did an excellent job singing his brother’s song, and he was ably assisted throughout the night by brother Paul.
Mother and daughter Carolyn Leacock and Jan Keizer delivered a top-notch rendition of Gee Whiz, It’s Christmas. The duo was in fine voice and sweet harmony as they belted out the Carla Thomas song.
Then there was the younger generation as Nikita introduced eight-year-old Daniel on stage. He was accompanied by Shem Goddard and Jabari Browne (Nikita’s brother). They sang Someday at Christmas and although both Shem and Jabari both have great talent, Daniel stole the spotlight. The little singer was absolutely flawless.
Cousin trio Nikita, Jan and Joanna Leacock ditched the music and opted to do their number in acappella which made their vocals even more pronounced. Their collective vocal chords were in total alignment. The trio moved away from Christmas favourites to pay homage to Christ with a Thank You Medley.
Nikita introduced her dad John Browne who led a spouge medley starting with the Things of Christmas by Drayton’s Two. He was joined by son Jabari and in-law Tony Leacock. The three were totally entertaining.
Then the “first lady of song”, Carolyn, took the lead in Mary’s Boy Child much to the delight of the audience. It was as if Carolyn’s vocals had not aged one bit. Her pitch was perfect and her rendition emotive. Then Stephen came back to perform Put Christ In Your Christmas.
For the grand finale Nikita put down a powerful rendition of Joy to the World. By this time everyone was on their feet egging her on, singing and dancing. If there could be one complaint, it would be that the family’s performance was too short. However, if lengthening their set meant compromising on the quality of the production, short and sweet would suffice.
Before the Leacock’s hit the stage, singer Casheda ruled the Open Mic session with her version of Luther Vandross’ Every Year, Every Christmas. Khani from the UK was entertaining with his deep voice rendition of Silver Bells.
All the singers gave good showings of themselves. Andrea sang Darlin’; Samaria did I Would Rather Go Blind; Jai Simone and Larix performed Oh Holy Night; Gail Smith sang Mary Did You Know; Jabarri Hurdle did Too Late To Apologise.
Earlier in the night, host band 2 Mile Hill opened the show in fine style. Lead singer Mahalia was awesome. She sang All I Want For Christmas, One Little Christmas Tree, We Don’t Have Snow, Angels We Have Heard on High, Drummer Boy, Have A Merry Little Christmas and Sleigh Ride. The group should take a bow for putting on such a top-class production. (IMC)