After having to stand through an hour’s worth of ridiculously shit nu-soul – is that what you call it? Well, I’m not a 40 year old middle class woman who thinks she can boogie with the youngsters, and that’s the target audience I imagine listening to it – the festivities finally got underway with the opening act of the night at the not-as-packed-as-usual Jazz Café – Micall Parknsun and Dubbledge. They were fun, the brilliant Dunya blasting out as a crowd favourite and some tracks from Fist Of Jah sounding pretty fresh, but the sound didn’t help matters.
The problems continued for Sir Smurf Lil and Conspicuous where continual feedback ruined their quality tracks. Hearing the two rappers break it down to accapella style was cool and they showed their talent, but not hearing beats made the experience that little bit less impressive. Still, the tracks from Smurf’s upcoming album, such as City Night Life, promise a hell of a lot from the record.
Jehst was last out, flanked as always by his hype man Asaviour and they went through the classic live joints – Citizen Smif and People Under The Weather – which became more karaoke from the crowd than performances from the rappers. With material from both MCs albums, including Nuke Proof Suit and Vice City from Jehst and So Northern from Asaviour, the night was full of great tunes. However, being kicked off stage early and not being able to perform High Plains Anthem was a hell of a shame.
This wasn’t the best Jehst show I’ve been to by a long way, the crowd seemed dormant and the sound problems made it hard to get really into the set, but as ever Jehst proved just why he stands head and shoulders about this country’s other wordsmiths. Always a pleasure to be in his presence.