Tuesday, 11 October 2011
Skepta - The Garage, Glasgow. 7/10/11
After dodging the burly man fighting a weedy chav (this was Glasgow, after all), we made our way round the back of the Garage to G2, the smaller venue playing host to Skepta on his second U.K tour of the year. Attempts to purchase a Fosters proved unsuccessful, apparently we were meant to ask for a wristband while being charmingly frisked by the door staff.
These minor issues overcome, it was time to watch support act Krept and Konan, buoyed by their recent youtube remix of 'Otis' (5 million hits and counting). Their brief set was enlivened by a competition between two members of the crowd, the principle object being to recite Skepta lyrics in order to win £10. Both contestants were, somewhat predictably, atrocious, and the lesser of the two evils won the day. Krept and Konan, for their part, delivered a nervous, inexperienced performance that betrayed their novice status on the U.K Grime scene.
The preliminary acts over, it was time for the main event. Skepta kept us waiting an impressively short 15 minutes, strutting onto the stage with his ubiquitous mantra of "Fuck Skepta". His band was strikingly attired in crisp white dinner jackets, the Grime legend donning a similar outfit. Bunches of red roses adorned the stage, contributing to the strange dinner party theme. Introductions over, he launched into 'Rescue Me', the anthemic chorus serving as an appropriate opening number. For the next hour the enthusiastic crowd was treated to a myriad of hits spanning his 5 years at the forefront of the British rap scene, including 'Bad Boy', 'All Over the House' (thankfully promising there would be no stage show) and, of course, 'Too Many Man'. Memories were refreshed with a medley of older material, Skepta bouncing irrepressibly across the stage as his energy fed into the crowd. New single 'Hold On' also proved a hit. At the conclusion, the London MC sincerely thanked his audience for their support, before engaging in what can only be described as the least convincing stage walk off I have ever seen. Within 30 seconds he was back for the encore, not being heartless enough to deprive his fans of hit single 'Amnesia'. He did however, neglect to perform 'Rolex Sweep', something the group was all looking forward to having practiced the dance all week.
In summary the gig was short, sweet, and well worth the entry fee. On this evidence there is plenty more life in the Grime stalwart yet, and I'm sure Glasgow will be welcoming back in the near future.