The last time I was in Brixton, it was with a group of friends to pay our respects to one of music’s greatest and most influential sons, David Bowie. Fast forward two/three months to Friday night and I found myself on the way to the sold out O2 Academy for a very different reason; my girlfriend and I went to see Hip-Hop/Grime duo Krept and Konan.
I’ll be honest and say that I’m not a huge fan of Grime. I’ll also be the first to admit that I do not know a huge amount about Grime. I know the basics and I know a fair amount of the mainstream artists that are tearing up the radio airwaves at the moment but that’s about it. So with my limited knowledge, I didn’t quite know what to expect.
It was incredible.
As soon as Krept and Konan took to the stage from a brilliantly designed London Underground Tube carriage set against a backdrop of the beautiful London skyline, they came out like men possessed to shooting flames and loud explosions with ‘Last Night’,Â thrilling the audience with an immediate reminder of who they were here to see. Right from the start, the energy never dropped once, even with the slower and more meaningful songs, ‘Falling’ and ‘Roses,’ where the duo talk about some of their own difficulties; Krept struggling to deal with his cousin being sent to war overseas and Konan recounting the story of his college friend Kevin losing his battle with Leukemia. What made the performance of ‘Roses’ even more special was the sincerity that was felt by everyone in the room and the introduction of a very special guest. Before the song, both Krept and Konan asked the audience to raise their lights in the air for Kevin and then, emerging from the Tube carriage was the one and only, Emeli Sande!
What followed next over the course of the show was an absolute mash up of the best Grime talent that the UK has to offer. Krept and Konan were joined on stage by Stormzy, Lethal Bizzle, Sneakbo, Solo 45 and the rejuvenated Craig David, who stunned me in particular with his flow and stage presence. The additional acts really added an extra dimension to the gig and to me, the illustrious list above says a huge amount about their rise to the top of the Grime scene. As the evening drew to an end, the duo took centre stage again and performed their 2015 smash hit ‘Freak Of The Week,’ which spent most of last summer in the top 10 and all of last summer in everyone’s heads, before closing with ‘Don’t Waste My Time’.
This was the first night of their mini UK tour with The O2 Ritz Manchester (Monday April 4th), The 02 Institute Birmingham (Wednesday 6th April) and finishing at The O2 Academy Newcastle (Thursday 7th April) next on the agenda. Tickets are an unbelievable Â£19.50 and for that price, you will not disappointed.
Following the UK tour, Krept and Konan will be taking their sound to Paris, Helsinki, Copenhagen, Stockholm and Gothenberg before taking on the festival circuit. They will be playing T in The Park, Reading and Leeds but the highlight will surely be Wireless, where they’ll be mixing withÂ the likes of Future, Maverick Sabre, Sigma, J.Cole and Chase and Status.
I urge you all to go and see Krept and Konan while you still you can. Grime still isn’t my favourite genre and I highly doubt it ever will be, but I honestly can’t remember the last gig I went to that represented such good value for money and would recommend them to pretty much everyone. Maybe not my parents though.