Live Reviews

Aesop Rock – Live

A State Of Mind
My Left Retina

Cargo, London

When someone like Aesop Rock comes to play a show in London years after his last jaunt here, it’s no surprise that the bar is rammed even before the doors to the stage area are open, nor is it a surprise that people are willing to pay over the odds for tickets outside. However, props must go to the guy who thought his “No, honestly, I just rang the venue and they said to put my name on the list now and let me in” ploy would work, much to the chagrin of the woman on the door.

Opening up proceedings was My Left Retina, who played a brilliant set of lo-fi beats, mixing in elements of dubstep and hip hop into his atmospherics, all the while sweating in his all in one jumpsuit. Getting the place going at such an early stage is an unenviable task but with a combination of head nodding tracks and fearsome bassliness, MLR gets the vibe started and deserves all the plaudits he gets.

Next up is A State Of Mind who have recently brought out an EP with Skrein. With a dude on the MPC, a turntablist cutting it up and one of their members hitting vocoders, flutes and keyboards, the backing was set nicely for the two MCs to take charge. Feel good hip hop was the order of the night and it wasn’t long before the call and response have gotten underway. The two frontmen fed off each other really well and it gave an extremely well rounded performance to set up the arrival of the Jukies.

With DJ Big Wiz set up behind him and larger-than-life Rob Sonic as his reliable wing-man, Aes dropped in a set that took the roof off the venue. Rolling through tracks from his latest album None Shall Pass including the title track, Bring Back Pluto and Catacomb Kids as well as running with old favourites such as No Regrets [over 3 different beats, top that!] and Fast Cars, Danger, Fire And Knives, it was as if he’d never been away.

Sonic got some frontman time too which drew a great response from the crowd before the rappers left the stage for Big Wiz to do his thing. The only blemish on the night was the fat moron who go on the stage during the big finale of favourite Daylight, though the silver lining came in the form of an Aes freestyle so all’s well that ends well.