Why Kano at Brixton O2 might have been Grime’s best ever concert

Nov 3 2016 BY Solomon Olukoya

Kano showed an energetic London crowd how a Grime concert should be. It was a star studded show that included Ghetts (on his birthday), JME, Little Simz and Damon Albarn on the keys.

The tour and Kano’s album is focused on Kano’s upbringing in London, particularly East London, so stepping into the Brixton O2 there was a different kind of energy to most concerts. London was about to welcome Kano, fresh from winning Best Album at the GRMDaily awards, to the biggest and probably best leg of his UK tour.

Grime with a live band is something that needs to happen a lot more. 1Xtra Grime Prom in 2015 showed us that Grime definitely has a place in classical orchestras. Kano had his whole band, including the Tuba, perform the livest wheel-ups during ‘3 Wheel Ups’. We were left speechless (and still are thinking about it). Listen to ‘3 Wheel Ups’ and try and visualize a live band, with all of its components, playing a grime anthem and then imagine the immense hype you’d feel hearing them reload it 3 times. It was insane.

 

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Kano had promised us special guests and we were not disappointed. JME and Ghetts are two artists with a ridiculous stage presence and their sly entrances sent the crowd wild. JME came out to do his intro to “Flow of the Year” and skank out with KA for a verse. Ghetts’ arrival was right in time for his verse on ‘Typical Me’, which was part of the older selections for those who have been Kano fans since ‘Home Sweet Home’.

The whole concert contained seamless transitions between Kano’s “old” and “new” music, which really is just different subject matter within the same excellent lyrical ability and hard-hitting bassline that Kano has always had. We really felt in touch with Kano’s personal struggles through ‘Roadman’s Hymn’ and ‘Strangers’, the introspective side to him is much more vivid over softer instrumentals.

Those who came to mosh-pit were rewarded when Kano performed ‘GarageSkankFREESTYLE’ and ‘Ghetto Kyote’, Kano seemed to be bubbling off the energy that the crowd provided and everyone within the first 20 standing rows were dragged into the action.

All in all Kano shelled down Brixton O2 in what was probably his best performance of the year (and we’ve seen him at a few festivals this year). Kano’s UK tour continues and he’s touched nearly every major city, don’t miss out on what will surely be a special night.