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Barking vs Dagenham in MOBO gospel gong battle

PUBLISHED: 11:17 21 October 2014 | UPDATED: 11:17 21 October 2014

Living Faith Connections Choir have been nominated for a MOBO

Living Faith Connections Choir have been nominated for a MOBO

Yomi Mohammed

It’s Barking vs Dagenham at the MOBO awards tomorrow night as two talented acts go head-to-head to be crowned the best gospel act.

Noel Robinson is up for a gong for the third time (photo: Hazel Thompson)Noel Robinson is up for a gong for the third time (photo: Hazel Thompson)

Living Faith Connections Choir and Noel Robinson will be taking on three other performers in a bid to be named champion at Wembley Arena.

For Noel, 50, it is the third time he has been nominated for the award, which celebrates music of black origin.

“It’s great to be recognised for what I do,” he said. “I’ve been making music for more than 25 years, and it’s good to still have this recognition when you’ve been doing it that long.”

Noel has also seen his latest album, Devoted, named the UK Album of the Year at the Gospel Touch Music Awards. He’s travelled around the world performing – but has found his spiritual home at Ilford’s City Gates Christian Centre.

“It’s different in South Africa and America, where gospel music is more integrated with mainstream music,” he said.

While Noel is hoping it’s third time lucky, Living Faith Connections Choir is celebrating a first-ever nomination.

After forming in 2000 with just six members, the choir, based at Barking’s Living Faith Connections church, now comprises 40 singers.

Music director Evans Ogboi is optimistic that the category will boost gospel music.

He said: “The MOBO Awards have always been relevant in the secular world and having a gospel category definitely boosts the Christian music scene.”

The choir has already made the final of the Songs of Praise Gospel Choir of the Year, and the members believe it is just the beginning for them.

“We give glory to God for the privilege,” said Evans.

“We were not expecting it at all. It’s definitely the beginning of greater things to come. By God’s grace, we will not just win the MOBOs but many other top notch awards.”

No matter which one takes home the crown – if they can beat the other nominees – both Noel and Livng Faith Connections Choir have put the borough on the national stage.

You can watch the MOBO awards live on ITV2 tomorrow from 8pm, or vote by visiting mobo.com/voting/best-gospel-act


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