Jazz Cafe, LondonWhen a concert ends with the performer hopping down from the stage to dance with their fans, you know it’s been a big night. And this week has been particularly big for rising wordsmith, Kojey Radical. The poet and rapper received two MOBO Awards nominations, and his celebratory spirit was overflowing at his sold-out Jazz Café show.
Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen, London
South London singer Kahlia Bakosi has a presence beyond her tender age.
Performing at a pre-festival showcase on Wednesday night, at the Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen, Bakosi’s three-song set was simply a taster. Even so, from the moment she introduced herself, she was confident and in control.
Somewhere in the midst of touring her first album, and writing her second, Lianne La Havas’s popularity ballooned. At Brixton Academy, it was stretched to humongous proportions. “I’m trying very hard to remain calm,” La Havas whispered, as she gazed out at the thousands of faces that had assembled before her. Yet, not even the shrieks and exclamations of affection disrupted the singer from putting on a confident, spirited show to please more than her devotees.
Royal Albert Hall, London
It was as strange as it was humorous. Nils Frahm, the German composer and tonight’s second headline act for Prom 27, Late Night with BBC 6 Music, had retrieved a pair of toilet brushes and had begun using them to beat the strings of his open-topped grand piano. Yet, as is this virtuoso’s way, with each twang and tremble, an inquisitive rhythm took shape.
The Victoria, LondonGrime tempered with clean-cut affection, that’s the music of 25-year-old Nick Brewer. You only need glance at the dissimilar band of artists that jam with him – Stormzy, Ruby Maze, George the Poet, Naomi Scott – to begin to see a vocalist who isn’t your typical grime artist. He likes to change things up, do a number for the ladies, maybe follow a rat-tat-tat cipher with some tweaked dance-hip-hop, or recite a poem.
The Victoria, LondonIf any music writers have already wheeled out a lazy comparison between Barney Artist and Barney the dinosaur, congratulations on a thoroughly uninspiring joke. Because if Barney Artist has anything in common with a children’s TV character, it’s not a purple dinosaur: it’s Kel Mitchell of Kenan and Kel fame.
On Sunday, May 10, Prince performed at an impromptu concert in Baltimore intended to bring some much needed unity and peace to the city, which is only the latest area to see the death of a non-white citizen, Freddie Gray, in this case, spark racially-motivated protests and riots. Alongside the show, he’s released aptly named ‘Baltimore’, featuring Eryn Allen Kane, a song with a sentiment that couldn’t be more plain: peace.
You can meet some genuinely fantastic people at concerts and live shows. I have on occasion. But having been to a fair number of concerts now, I’ve noticed certain, um, disruptive characters that frequently seem to appear. They range from mere off-puts to self-centred fools who threaten to ruin the whole show.
This is just for fun*, but I’d be interested to know if you’ve spotted any of these characters yourself. Tweet me @dk33per or leave a comment below.