Talib Kweli + Speech Debelle

February 13, 2017

Speech Debelle


Speech Debelle’s charm and presence wowed the crowd with her formidable sound. Relaxing the crowd with her one of a kind performance style she opened the show with ‘Running’ a track off her latest EP ‘Breathe’. Bringing the audience with her and she seemed to enter a musical journey on stage she filled the room with the smell of the incense she was burning live on stage.  Rapping through a song about unrequited love the entire venue had an instant connection with her through this song.  The dimmed lights in the venue brought its beauty to the forefront as its 1920’s style clashed with the raw sounds of Hip Hop, giving the genre the respect it deserves. 


The entire stage performance was arranged in such a way that it gave you no legitimate reason to ignore the incredible craft of stage performance. From the soulful backing singers to the drummer, the stage was filled with talent that was drawing the crowd in. Calling the ancestors on stage with her, Speech Debelle’s brutally honest and introspective lyricism brought you into her world and gave you a seat as she performed her songs with all of her physical and emotional being.  Soothing the audience through ‘Terms and Conditions’, she fully understands the situations we all (unfortunately) go through but refuse to admit and shows us such through her command of the stage.  With the backing singers elevating certain aspects of the song with harmonies usually reserved for church she gave us all a brief history on Jamaican Film as she performed ‘Big Fish’. Ending the show with ‘The Work’ she gave the Talib Kweli the introduction he deserved as she took her bow.

 

Talib Kweli


With the audience still reeling from Speech Debelle’s performance, Talib Kweli entered the stage to an audience singing his lyrics back to him. One man in particular, in a leather jacket sang every lyric word for word, staring up at Talib Kweli from the pit in absolute awe. As the introduction for ‘Never Been in Love’ began to ring around the venue that entire upstairs balcony stood up and danced back and you could almost smell people reminiscing. Every man woman and child in the venue seemed to sing the chorus back without prompt.

With the entire venue enthralled by his performance, he worked through song after song and hit after hit showing us his incredible talent and hard work.  Reducing everyone in the audience to a series of emotions and subconscious physical responses to his art, the whole venue seemed to remember why they fell in love with Hip Hop in the first place.

The performance was one of surprises and one offs as he performed ‘Look of Love’ by Slum Village and paid respects to deceased members of the Hip Hop community. The crowd hanging on his every word as his well-known powerful lyrics took the audiences breath away.  Covering ‘Eleanor Rigby’ by The Beatles he demonstrated once again that his talent and genre has the capability to not only surprise but to be subversive and innovative. Lighting the room red he paid homage to Reggae DJ’s of the eighties for aiding Hip Hop on its musical journey.


Bringing the show down with a speech about taking responsibility for our respective political leaders and urging the audience not to separate the struggle from which Hip Hop was inspired by from the art it creates. Time seemed to stand still as he performed his last song and the audience collectively realised the show was over and that they were all now connected by a shared experience, never to be imitated.

 

 

Catastrophe Terror Campaign

December 14, 2016

I managed to catch up with Catastrophe, the Irish Thrash metallers taking the metal scene by storm as they crashed through the UK.


So how is the tour going so far?

Jamie: It got off to a bit of a rocky start obviously with all the travelling and stuff and obviously the impending doom  of playing abroad again, so we had to get confident, we’ve been building up for it and the show last night in Leicester was one of the best shows we’ve ever played  so I’m happy, excited to come abroad a...


Continue reading...
 

Ventenner Invidia

December 11, 2016


Invidia

Ventenner are a London based band whose industrial sound has pushed them higher and higher within the UK metal scene, with clear influences of Marilyn Manson and NIN they continuously find ways to be innovative and collaborative when it comes to honing their sound. The band who has just signed up with Dissention Records, has been making waves in the industrial scene in the UK which does still exist if you didn’t know.

This new album Invidia’ an excellent representation of th...


Continue reading...
 

Savages

December 9, 2016


London rock band Savages were in Brixton late November for a phenomenal show that took the breath away from the audience. The crowd were captivated as the anticipation for this long awaited show came to a head.

The vocals lifted up and swam around the room proving once more that Jehnny Beth is a force to be reckoned with as she sang to every person in the room personally. Making the audience remember why they bought tickets in the first place. She was most definitely feeling herself and t...


Continue reading...
 

Aswad

October 20, 2016



Legendary reggae icons Aswad graced the Jazz Café with their presence as swathes of fans filled the club.  With a career spanning over thirty years Aswad took British reggae to the mainstream giving Britain its first ever British reggae number one in 1988 with ‘ Don’t turn Around’. The band’s name itself meaning ‘Black’ in Arabic, have been performing since the mid 70’s, the group all met at Holland Park School in west London and all lived in the Ladbroke Grove area Home of t...


Continue reading...
 

AfroPunk comes to London

September 19, 2016



This September London will see the first Afro Punk festival on UK shores which will see the likes of Lady Leshurr, Laura Mvula with special performances from London’s own Akala and the world renowned Grace Jones (if you don’t know get to know). For those that don’t yet know, Afro Punk was started in 2005 in Brooklyn NY as a festival that showcases and supports black alternative music and fans. With alumni such as Unlocking the Truth, EVE and Lenny Kravitz, the festival has gone from str...


Continue reading...
 

Trevors Head

April 24, 2016



Trevors Head, a Stoner rock band from Redhill has stunned me with this latest album.  The sheer power behind the vocalist voice penetrates your ears leaving it vulnerable to the rest of the band as they charge through.  Unable to keep still as I listen through ‘Tricolossus’ the latest album by the band, I’m suddenly reminded of how it feels to listen to a great metal album for the first time.  The lead guitarist damn near has sex with his guitar during a solo on ‘Government Whores´ a...


Continue reading...
 

Catastrophe

March 17, 2016

Catastrophe are a five piece Thrash metal band from Dublin who have making waves within the metal scene. Having only been together just over a year they have produced a tight sound that straddles all the charm of early eighties Thrash with the all the energy and fervour of more contemporary bands. With undertones of early Slayer and Exodus Catastrophe have managed to generate a sound that simultaneously fills you with nostalgia whilst leaving you exhilarated at this new sound.

Catastrophe ar...


Continue reading...
 

Moonspell

June 16, 2013


What do you think about illegal downloading?

It’s something when Moonspell started, we started tape trading in the underground, and so to be able to record to tape was a miracle for us at the time.  When they had that first opportunity people searched for CD’s and when you got the cd you recorded it, and coming from Portugal it was always hard to find good metal and hard rock.  So when they had that opportunity of course they were huge fans and huge collectors, and that was a long tim...


Continue reading...