Thursday, October 02, 2008

Long Review: Kano Smashes 140 Grime St Launch Party

Tuesday night was a grimey success…

Kano 140 Grime St Concert (IndigO2, London) 1

After months of planning from Kano, adidas and RWD Magazine the ‘Biggest Grime Event of the Decade’ was exactly that. Celebrating both the launch of the all-sporting adidas adiZones and Monday’s release of Kano’s 140 Grime St, this one-off event had a lot to live up to. Luckily everyone on the bill brought their A game…

Greenwich’s IndigO2 was the perfect (secret) location for the thousands of revellers to flock to and from the boxfresh trainers, blatantly new outfits and amount of gel we saw in the queues we instantly knew the audience of complimentary ticket owners had brought their A game too. To the sound of bassy beats blaring from the adidas adiZone vans the audience soon flowed into the venue.

When they arrived they were met with the eye-capturing visual display from VJing outfit the Frame Butchers and the hosts for the evening, Kiss 100’s Manny Norte and Shortee Blitz, were as lively as ever and got the crowd in the mood for what was about to be a great evening. Manny draped in beige adidas windbreaker and white-rimmed shades had the ladies – who’d camped out at the front, obviously to be as close to the main act as possible – shouting all sorts and participating in various R&B-flavoured dance moves. When the music stopped and the cloth over the drums had been lifted, the whole venue knew what time it was. Time to once again quench our Thirst.

Starting with My Everything, The Thirst strummed though several hits and the reaction from each was a good to see. “Thanks again to Kano for showing us love,” frontman Mensah shouted in-between the likes of Ready To Move and RWD favourite Sail Away. Rhythm guitarist Mark later revealed to RWD the bands delight at nailing another gig. “Yeah, they loved it man,” he explained of the Brixton boy’s reception.

With their uniforms (sharp black adidas tracksuits with a red band across the midriff) the Peridot dancers were next on stage. To describe some of their moves would be hard as it was just synchronised sickness in the form of dance. They seemed more than well prepared and the IndigO2 insiders ate up all of their Peri-Peri moves like they’d just ordered from Nandos. The Peridot dancers were great mid-act entertainment.

Logan Sama - dressed in the Argentina football kit with Tevez (11) on the back – made his way to the DJ booth and instantly dropped some modern classics. The likes of So Solid, Ms Dynamite and More Fire Crew were all blended together in quick succession and his solid set was only interrupted by wannabe MCs. For entertainment sake Manny Norte grabbed any guy from Slough and a few girls on the stage to see if they had the mic skills to represent… lets just say they didn’t… but it was hilarious watching them try.

Ruff Sqwad’s Tinchy Stryder - with hypeman Fuda Guy in tow - then showed why he’s a Star In The Hood and got the crowd into a grime-based frenzy. Distributing t-shirts as they went, Tinchy killed it with Stryderman and it was plain to see the forthcoming grime-a-thon would go down a treat.

Kano 140 Grime St Concert (IndigO2, London) AAA Passes

The main event kicked off with a 10 minute warm-up trailer. This was more like a behind the scenes movie and featured the ins-and-outs of putting together the event. Featuring a few surprise acting performances – like Ghetto working in Mr Jerk – it was a big start to the part of the show everyone paid their money for was waiting for. With footage of Kano looking nervous, throwing up and going though final plans, the East Londoner might just get an Oscar or at least a Blue Peter badge for his acting skills. Soon after the flick even Stevie Wonder – who just happened to be playing next door – could see that Kano had finally made it on stage as the roar from his dedicated fans was impressive.

Going through 140 Grime St nearly song-for-song, KA – draped in ‘where can we buy that?’ adidas – DJ Chopper, and producer-turnt-hypeman Mikey J had both levels of the audience glued to the stage. The live rendition of Hustler was really good but it was soon eclipsed by Hunting We Will Go as Ghetto dropped ferocious bars alongside Mr Robinson. The whole of the top level/ VIP area were on their feet and in the best position to see Skepta on the next track, These MC. Both going at it hard, Kano and Skeppy reeled off bars from the up-tempo riddim about MCs who simply can’t keep up. This was an immense performance and the fact that SKEPTA WAS WEARING ONLY A WHITE DRESSING GOWN AND SOCKS did the show’s culmination no harm.

Kane got a bit political as he freestyled at the start of the second half of his set. He unleashed: “If it wasn't for the Olympics them pr**** wouldn't have put money back in East London,” to a massive cheer that would have left Boris Johnson rocking in his VIP seat (had he been there). My highlight of the evening was when a camo jacket-clad Wiley joined Kano on Anywhere We Go and the two of them did the performance of the night. A big tune. The night continued with some Kano Klassics, like Bad Boy, Boys Love Girls (which both had massive responses), and of course the ladies favourite This Is The Girl (which even sounded good over the screams).

Kano 140 Grime St Concert (IndigO2, London) with Ghetto

The very end of concert saw Wiley drop Wearing My Rolex, Skepta unpack Rolex Sweep, Ghetto let loose Sing For Me and a belated yet brilliant Ps and Qs encore. A very big night was had by all, if only more grime events could happen to this degree.