I luv Live 10th Birthday
Brixton Electric, 16th June 2014
I Luv Live have seen over 5000 acts grace the stage across the UK, and with it being their 10th birthday, this week they held a one off show at Brixton Electric featuring a mystery A-List Guest. My second visit here in a week, I’m still baffled by the gauntlet of railings lead up to the venue doors resembling a queuing system that starts half way down the street. Three clueless women holding a clipboard stood at the front of the venue it appears running a swift operation is something they are still yet to master. As one man next to me blurts out ‘Where’s a blogger when u need one’, well hello I am just that!
First impressions aside, the event showcased an usual mix of Hip Hop, Rap, Grime R&B and Dance leaving no genre of music isolated from this incredible showcasing platform. Opening was London’s east ghetto rapper Ghetts. Repping it for all the grime lovers, he certainly made an impact bringing out special guests and cranking up his rap flow on each track.
Newly red haired Tanika stunned the crowd by performing tracks about personal experiences; one track that caught our attention was Freedom, written about the moment her sister disclosed her love for women. Captivated by her talent, she soared up the richter scale belting out those high notes. It’s obvious Tanika’s not only got a fine set of lungs on her but a pure heart too.
Blissfully unaware Blizzard was not just a form of weather but in fact the name of a brand new MC from Manchester, it’s his cheeky opening and lyrics ‘so who am I call me B L I, if you say you don’t rate what I do that straight up be a lie’ you can’t help but admire his fitting intro. Ready to create his own Blizzard at Glastonbury, he explains he just wrote a song about the festival season. As he sits behind the piano singing about sunsets, beer cans and enjoying yourself, he instantly gets everyone involved as they clap along to his beat. Greeted on stage by special guest Shakka, this surprise was the first time the crowd fully engaged. Having both worked together on a new track just recently, it was an honour to see the duo perform on stage together so early on in his career.
Predictable and clique as ever, boy band Rough Copy were next to take the stage. No longer a fangirling teen, it takes a lot to win me over when it comes to this type of genre especially being pre tagged with the X Factor label. Coming 4th on the series and witnessed some tight harmonies on the show it was disappointing during a live setting the group looked dis-jointed. Joey Thomas tried to steal the show giving his best Michael Jackson moonwalk shapes.
Keeping things in the soul lane a little longer, the next act Jacob Banks has recently been signed to Atlantic Records. Twin B described him as the next Stevie Wonder. Whilst Banks shared his timeless soul vibe, I am yet to be convinced he has enough of his own soul to bring to match the bold statement given by Twin B. Last but no means least was the dance mad man Stylo G who made sure he was heard. Dressed entirely in black and heavy on strobe lighting, Stylo G took warming up the crowd literally by getting the crowd jumping.
Six acts down, Twin B (BBC 1Xtra) and Ras Kwame (Capital Xtra) continued the World Cup banter which was starting to run a little dry, but things soon got juicy when headliners Naughty Boy and Emeli Sande took to the stage. Although Naughty Boy has never performed at an I Luv Live event before, it was 5 years prior at one of Sande’s appearances when he got some overwhelmed by her talent that he ended up approaching her. Hitting it off, it was straight into the studio to pen some of what are now Sande’s smash hits jams Wonder and Heaven. This inspirational I luv Live story has seen Sande shifted over 2 million albums to date, and helped many artists gain exposure, tonight’s A lister being another!
With curfew approaching and still no mystery guest to the stage gone 11.30pm, things were getting tense. But when Miss Jessie J was confirmed as tonight’s surprise, I couldn’t help but put my fan girl hat on. An artist who’s shown the nation she may do it like a dude at times, she is in fact one of the most honest and raw talents the UK has ever seen. Showcasing acoustic material from her 3rd album, ‘Don’t Really Know Me’ along favourites ‘Nobodys Perfect’ and ‘Price Tag’, Jessie J once again delivered a pitch perfect set. A credit to UK music, the main reason Jessie J has gained so much support over the years is for her is relatable song lyrics and humbleness. Looking just like she did when she first broke onto the scene with her black bob and gold hoops, Jessie J may be A list now, but she is just the same as the girl who took to the I Luv Live stage on 1st November 2010.
A bargain at only a tenner, if you want to be the first to see emerging talent in a live setting, then I Luv Live event is certainly the place to be. Get following these guys on twitter and get yourselves to an event to see the next decade of music unfold in a city near you.