Thursday, May 12, 2016

Skepta: Live at the Rainbow Warehouse (10/5/16)

It's hard to believe that there was once a time when it seemed that no one really cared to much about the grime scene. After Dizzee Rascal dropped his grime sound for a softer chart friendly approach, everyone seemed to follow in his footsteps. It was fun at first, seeing the likes of Tinchy Stryder and Tinie Tempah break through, but it quickly became rather depressing with, Roll Deep, Sway, Lethal Bizzle and eventually Wiley, cash in with cheap novelty pop songs. Skepta's current status as the king of grime is proof that you can be a success simply by sticking to your guns. To get the pre-sale for this show everyone had to buy Skepta's new album Konnichiwa. Which meant that everybody knew the tunes. The rainbow was packed full. Skepta attracts a huge audience of fans. mostly male, under 25, white, black, asian, whatever. Everyone was wearing black hoodies, took photos on their iPhones (Skepta asked us all to raise our iPhones later on) and seemed to be about 7ft tall. To tell the truth it was a bit dull for anyone other than hardcore grime fans until Skepta came on stage. DJ Maximum was spinning garage classics alongside hits from Drake, Montell Jordan and Young Thug.
Some local MC's started the show before Frisco and Shorty livened things up with their own hits, and the obligatory, 'Too Many Man' to warm things up. There was a lot of chanting BBK! and 0121 which reminded me of Trilla's underground hit of that name.
Skepta came onto the stage in a white hoodie, and went straight into rapping Konnichiwa's opening self titled track. He got 'Thats not me' out of the way early and the crowd went mental. Some kid hugged me and my friend and started going on about how it was his favourite song. Sadly the rumoured Wiley appearance didn't come about. JME wasn't there either, yet when another MC rapped his 'thats not me' bars, and DJ Maximum spun one of his tunes, the reaction from that crowd was so huge that Skepta's brother might as well have been there.
I knew I had to get down there so I snuck through the crowd, while Skepta played some hardcore fan favourite, mixtape tracks. I eventually got right into the centre for the ensuing moshpits for 'Shutdown' and 'It aint safe'. It was sweaty as fuck down at the front during those songs, but despite all the moshing and violent lyrics the vibes were very positive. It was an amazing place to be. Skepta said he was proud to be touring an number one album for the second time and bigged up DJ Maximum for his ability to DJ while checking the football scores. Despite being on stage for an hour straight, the set felt very short, There were so many great songs he could have played. Skepta invited every MC there to join him on stage for 'Man' and then left without an encore. It could have lasted another hour easily and I wouldn't have noticed. Time flies when you're having fun.



*Wiley will always be the godfather, no one can take that away from him.
** If you want to see good photos of the show then visit

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