Live at First Direct Arena on Saturday, 17th October 2015
We arrived in time to catch the last couple of songs by Miguel, 'Leaves' and 'Waves', there was a great atmosphere in the First Direct arena and we knew we were in for a good evening! Miguel has a great, smooth voice but it felt a little reminiscent of late 90s slow jamz-esque R&B which isn't really my thing, but the accompanying band made his act feel a little more contemporary and provided a good warm up to the rest of the night.
After a surprise appearance by WSTRN with 'In2', next up was Natalie La Rose, the only girl billed on the line-up. She started off with 'Gypsy Rose' which has a 90s sound, a great beat and got everyone dancing. Natalie then slowed it down and played the keyboard to 'Jealous', a ballad which was nice enough, as was 'Somebody'. However, I preferred the first couple of songs were definitely what I'd call bangers.
Next we had Yasmin Evans and Twin B, introducing Flo Rida, who's first banger 'GDFR (Going Down for Real)' got everyone bouncing, including me and the four backing dancers in their sparkling catsuits. His set highlight was 'Low', the song he's possibly best known for with everyone screaming 'Apple bottom jeans, boots with the furrrrr'. The next song was a low for me, 'I Don't Like It, I Love It', although it was catchy and got people singing, there's only so much disco inspired music accompanied by excessive whistling I can handle! The set ended with 'My House' and Flo Rida taking off from the stage, high-fiving people in the crowd which went down well and ended the set on a high.
Next up was Fekky, smashing it with his first song 'Bang'. Everyone was screaming 'BU BU BANG' and the energy followed through to 'Way Too Much'. Then a brand new song 'Up' which was slower, darker and a bit boring. Roll on 'Rudeboy Ting' which saved it - much more of an energetic grime feel and a surprise visit from Tempa T who joined Fekky on stage halfway through. Fekky's set ended on 'Just Sitting Here', another great song.
Classics including 'Drinking Rum and Rell Bull', 'Who Am I' and 'Murder She Wrote' during the interval, meant that by the time Trevor Nelson introduced Lethal Bizzle, everyone was raring to go. Lethal started off with 'Playground' which sounded fantastic with its D&B chorus, then he smashed my personal favourite 'Rari Workout' - everyone was singing and doing the 'PUMP PUMP PUMP' dance move. Next up was an exclusive of the song ' Dude' which is out on Monday 19 October, featured on MistaJam's show on 1Xtra. Followed by 'Pow', the 2011 version of the original version released in 2004. The DENCH Instructor finished on 'Fester Skank', the crowd was going wild and knocking out some sweet dance moves.
Ace (from Ace and Invisible) introduced the next act, Stormzy AKA #Merky AKA the #Problem. His first song 'Not That Deep' was a little dull but 'WickedSkengMan 4' was a definite improvement'. 'Shut Up' was good, but 'Know Me From' (the one with the great video) was a much better ending to his set. People like Stormzy prove that UK grime is still alive and it was brilliant to see him.
Charlie Sloth was on next with MistaJam to introduce Kid Ink. He seemed to be a hit with the ladies, but I found his set to be repetitive, generic rap, that has a real dated feel to it. The Lyrics 'baby let me put your panties to the side, I'ma make you feel alright' from 'Show Me' was definitely my low point of the evening.
Charlie Sloth was back again, to introduce Krept & Konan. Songs included ' Certified', 'Ain't on Nuttin' and 'Freak of the Week'. There were also guest appearances from Yungen and Sneakbo. My highlight of the set was 'Do it for the Gang' which usually features Wiz Khalifa. The rest of the set seemed a little lacklustre compared to other artists. Unfortunately, because of that, the second highlight of the Krept & Konan set was the explosion of paper confetti towards the end of their set...
And then, the moment we'd all been waiting for...TINIE TEMPAH!! His DJ booth was fashioned to look like an old school ghetto blaster. He started off with the amazing 'Pass Out' and 'Earthquake' which got everyone bouncing and singing. 'Been The Man' had a classic grime feel to it which was a contrast to his more popular songs such as 'Drinking from the Bottle' and 'Miami 2 Ibiza' which I didn't really like. There was a surprise visit from Katy B for 'Turn the Music Louder' which was amazing! The almost hardstyle 'Tsunami' and anthem-y 'Written in the Stars' weren't for me - they have the 'filler, not killer' feel. The last song, 'Not Letting Go', felt the same, but the crowd singing along, was a cracking way to end the show!
Highlights: The amazing atmosphere of Radio 1Xtra Live, Fekky, Stormzy and Lethal Bizzle proving that UK grime isn't dead and SWEET DANCE MOVES from all the boys in the crowd.
Lowlights: Kid Ink's pantie chat and uninspiring tracks from Krept & Konan.