“Aww, look how cute I am. Touch the Sov, touch the Sov!” shouted the diminutive MC as she stared at her run of looped videos filling up the giant screen behind her drummer. After tonight’s showing, it seems that everyone wants to get a bit of Sovereign, as she drew a crowd from all parts of the music spectrum – indie kids, grime kids, rockers and even a seventy year old granddad in shorts – but they were all united in amazement as Sov took them on a punk rock ride through old and new.
DJ Cameo opened the night by dropping some grime anthems to get the crowd warmed up, mixing in Kano’s “Ps & Qs” with Crazy Titch’s “Singalong” and blasting out the Mizz Beats remix of Sov’s latest single “Hoodie”. He was soon joined on stage by JME and Spekta who rinsed verse after verse of hard hitting rhymes over bass lines that defied the crowd’s digestive systems. After a good set of back and forth rapping, a solitary verse by Tinchy Stryder and the non-appearance of Wiley [who sat at the side of the stage for the duration], JME departed telling everyone it was time for the S. O. Veeee.
She took her time coming out but after her DJ had dropped a few bangers and her band strode out to get the party started, Sov appeared in a garish orange tracksuit sporting a Chucky mask, leaving us in no doubt what time of year it was. As soon as she’d taken it off though she was right up at the front of the stage and let the guitar kick in as she reeled off the massive old skool Sov cuts of “Blah Blah” and “Random”. The live band made a big difference to the songs and got the crowd moving in time with her movements, as she showed a seamless energy slicing through the beats with her high pitched distinctive touch.
The crossover hit “9 to 5” was next and the bouncy bass had everyone dancing without abandon before she hit us with some more older songs, the fantastic “Tango”, which asks what network you’re on, what’s your favourite colour and telling us she knows what our favourite fruit is, the Jentina-diss “Sad Ass Strippa” which she claimed laid to rest that grudge as she was moving on to Jessica Simpson next, and “Broom” which she said was a result of her knocking someone over with, you guessed it, a broom.
She finished with three new songs, “My England” had arms waving as she declared that we’re not all posh like the queen, her new single “Hoodie” which looks to be even bigger than her previous effort and the punk-laced “Public Warning”. Ordinarily, no grime MC could bring off songs like that, but the heavy crunching guitar and snapping snare allowed her to create an atmosphere unlike one you’d see at a rave, and would more likely see down the local rock venue.
Sov has also learnt how to handle the crowd. When I first saw her she didn’t know how to fill the time between songs, but this time round she had clearly mastered the art, getting a burping competition going, coming face to face with a girl in a gorilla suit and trying, unsuccessfully, to do a flick with a beer can. If anyone can save the hoodie, as she’s planning to take on Blair & co to do, its her. After tonight’s performance, everyone was in no doubt she’s got what it takes to go a long, long way. She is indeed, as she puts it, the biggest midget in the game, and we’d have it no other way.