MOBO Live Tour 2010
Islington Academy on Wednesday night contained London’s freshest and newest acts; from Grime to RnB and Rap to Dance Hall. London was the last leg of the six city UK tour headlined by Skepta.
Unfortunately I’m unable to provide an unbiased review for you today. My dislike towards the event starts at the performer’s outfits and extends right down to their lyrics. The night was short, doors were at 7pm and the place was deserted by 11pm, but one shouldn’t expect any more than this with a venue with a mid-week licensing for 14yrs+ admittance. I can tell you now that my enjoyment of the show was probably increased tenfold by sparing myself from further torture as I arrived two hours late and missed the first five acts; Angel, Rough Diamondz, Maverick Sabre, Jodie Connor and Mz Bratt. Don’t worry. I haven’t heard of them either.
The first heavyweight act of the night was Scorcher. Quick. Lively. Amped. Another face on the Grime scene. His interaction with the crowd was immense as he was actually performing to them and not at them. There are two songs that stuck out and that is Its My Time and Lipsin Ting and I’m not gonna lie – I was pretty surprised when the crowd sang the choruses and that Scorcher actually had the confidence to step back and let them. This is definitely one man that can no longer be sheltered by the label of being an underground artist since his nomination for ‘Best Newcomer’ for this year’s MoBo awards. Did they run out of newcomers? After a short interlude, we were given pint-sized, Brazilian-born Aggro Santos: London’s very own substitute for Reggaeton and better known as the face behind Stamina and this year’s chart-jumper, Candy ft Kimberly Wyatt (former Pussycat Doll). Warming up the crowd with rounds of “Olly Olly Olly”, I already had my head in my hands before he had even began. Mr. Santos shouted where he should have sung and allowed the backing track and inane backing- singer to do the rest. I shall forever be scarred from his penultimate lyrics of “uno, dos, tres, cuatro, cinco, seis, SEX!” Genius.
The much anticipated Donae’o finally entered our midst, going straight into Funky House hits, Party Hard and African Warrior. For the first time that night I actually witnessed the crowd move. The beat was like an infection where the only remedy was to rave it out. Head down, hands erect, back concaved, knees bent – *skank* *skank* *skank*. Repeat till cured. Probably my favourite act of the evening, or is that just the Funky talking? Another twenty minute interlude incurs, mutterings and a few drinks then the man himself decides to appear. SKEPTA and his BBK buddies (Boy Better Konw) attack the stage with full force with Too Many Man. The crowd were definitely feeling him as the entire front row looked like a bunch of crack-heads that had been trapped in a hospital’s drug’s store cabinet. Amnesia, a chorus sing-a-long type tune, proves his skills as a melodist and didactic MC but Fuck Skepta was definitely a more personal song as he quite directly subtitles it as “a song for the haters” who say he’s sold out. Well, has he? He did take a diva wardrobe change during his set. Debate.
With a random short appearance from Preeya Kalidas (Indian chick. Amira. Eastenders) and some tossing of signed T-shirts and used bottles of water (eugh) the night was done. I’m not saying that my generally negative outlook on the night has any reflection on their ability as artists but I’m criticising them as live performers. Performances that made me spend half the night weeping into my Nikon. Some of those artists should be shot. And owing to the history of the music. They probably will be.