OH MY DIDDAYS, OH MY GOSH! (I apologise for this poor English).
Last night was the BBC Radio 1xtra Grime symphony at the Royal Albert Hall which was hosted by Mista Jam and Sian Aanderson. It was an incredible show on which a number of Grime music artists took the stage. It was led by the Jules Buckley and his Metropole Orkest, absolutely amazing! I can’t emphasise how cool it was to see Jules and some of the guys in the choir get down and enjoy themselves to some grime music. This was something I’ve never witnessed before, Grime coming with an orchestra, not something you see everyday!
Unfortunately because of where I live I could not attend the show as It’s a little too far, plus it started at 10.15pm (Almost my bed time!). However because of the internet and television I managed to watch the whole thing and didn’t miss a second.
First on stage was Stormzy who started with his track “Where do you know me from“, which is quite funny because that’s the song I know him from ;), perhaps it was pre-planned! His performance went down with the crowd and really set the show on fire. After that he performed a more recent track of “Shutup” which I happen to know almost word for word, not ashamed! To sum that up, no one could have really done a better job to start the show.
Next up was Wretch 32 who came on with “6 words“, one of the newer songs. From Stormzy it went to a calmer setting, which was needed after a blast from Stormzy. I must say Wretch 32 was looking dapper with his trench coat, smart trousers, loafers and a collarless shirt, BIG thumbs up to his stylist! He came on also after Fekky to perform a new track named “Something” which was really good. Wretch also brought Shola Ama who was looking 10/10 to perform a calm and collective song from a few years ago “Dont go“.
Slightly newer talent who I’ve been hearing about recently is the amazingly talented Little Simz who braced us with her rapping. Her flow really came through with the song “Wings” and “Bars Simzon” which I really enjoyed. It is good to see that grime is producing great female artists such as her. Her style is kind of similar to that of Lady Leshur, which really captures the lyrics and tells a story.
After this Fekky came onto the stage to perform “Too much” which was more of a gangster type song which really gets you to bop your head unintentionally. There was a lot of reference to Skepta in the song, I hope he gave him permission to do so! His last song was ” Still sittin here” which has that catchy chorus of “BU BU BANG BANG BANG“, at this moment I was off my seat pumping my fist in the air! His set was truly energetic to say the least.
Krept and Konan, yes that duo! I’m really impressed at how far they have come in the last couple of years. I used to see hood videos they would make a couple of years ago. Even a track they did with a couple of rappers called ‘Paranormal activity’ which really went down with people who love grime. However that song was not sang, but they came on with their new track from their album “Freak of the week” which has topped the charts in the last couple of weeks featuring Jeremih. Soon as the instrumental came on everyone was up on their feet and really enjoying it. Afterwards they performed “Don’t waste my time” from last year which has that cool rhythm that you can really enjoy and catch the lyrics.
Chip or should I say Chipmunk who had kind of vanished until the beginning of this year. A couple of years ago when he made that track with Chris Brown and left the Grime scene everyone thought he was going to blow. Well that kind of happened and then we never really heard from him after that. Until this year when he came back with some indirect’s to Tinie Tempah which didn’t really go far other than fueling people to talk about it on social media. Besides that he came on and performs a series of tunes including Kano & Wretch 32. This also included “Where are you“, “School of Grime” and his newer track “I’m Fine” which featured Stormzy, however Stormzy did not participate on the performance last night with him.
Lethal Bizzle. Well I am not going to lie but he was who I was waiting for the whole show to come on. If you hadn’t guessed already I’m a big fan of his. He performed my favourites “Rari Workout“, “Pow”, which everyone STILL goes crazy over years on, ” Fester Skank” and “Playground” with the talented Skakka”. It was just an overall climax and everyone was in cloud 9 with his tunes. What really impresses me as a fan is that he engages with his audiences and knows how to interact with them properly. A lot of musicians get it wrong by just going on, saying hi how are you doing, sing their song then big up the band. Lethal B does all of this but encourages the crowd to join in and make sure they are having fun!
Wretch 32 finished the show with “Alright with me” and an old school tune “Traktor”. He had changed from “Swarve gentleman” to “Roadman” attire with the adidas tracksuit and trainers. Besides the clothing transfer he still killed it on stage!
OVERALL it was an amazing performance from all of the artists, the orchestra band and everyone involved. Hearing Grime music with live bands really puts the tracks on another dimension. You usually associate classical music with orchestra and not with grime. The way they made it work so effortless was amI don’t think I have the appropriate word for it but it doesn’t get any better than amazing! To everyone that watched it, you know exactly what I mean. If you didn’t head over the BBC iPlayer to watch it, I promise you won’t regret it!