Metal detectors, extensive bag and pocket searches and security and police everywhere you looked.
Was I in an American airport with an Iraqi passport? Was this the introduction for a new series of the Krypton Factor?
Or maybe this was an elaborate Government plan to rid the country of hooded young ‘uns? In fact, all this was just to make sure Kano didn’t have to cancel another show due to the threat from outside of firearms. A shame that this sort of thing has to happen, especially to someone as amiable as Kano, but still, once in, it mattered not.
Kano strode on to Home Sweet Home and from the very first beat, it was clear that he was here to take over, to have a good time and to show everyone that nothing was going to stop him performing. After the mobile phones had returned back to pockets, Kano decided to mix things up a little right from the off and threw in The Mitchell Brother’s Routine Check, which he has a guest verse on, and turned it into a karaoke show with the crowd rapping the chorus over and over whilst he filled in the verse. His part in the remix of The Streets’ Fit But You Know It was a definite crowd favourite too but it was the track sandwiched in between these two, his truly grimy anthem Boys Luv Girls, which cranked the Astoria into the cruising gears.
Davinche’s ear drum splitting bassline of Ps & Qs raised the already skyline reaching roof as hands pumped the air and Kano strode confidently around the stage, as if he were a different man to the one that had to grow into his role only a few weeks back at the Carling New Kings show in Islington. After the garage infused Nobody Don’t Dance No More, Kano brought out Dangermouse, Demon and Ghetto to add the next dimension of the show as the beat to the awesome grime compilation Run The Road 2’s first track, Get Set, blasted out, pouring sonic frenzy over the audience.
All 3 newcomers bring something different to the stage, Dangermouse’s low but head snapping delivery, Ghetto’s schizophrenic spitting and dancing and Demon’s almost screeching rhymes and Demon set it alight when he dropped his verse from Lethal Bizzle’s underground anthem Forward Riddim before flowing with his opening rhymes to Gangster Toyz.
After Demon had unveiled a new track in which both Rio Ferdinand and Alex Ferguson were name checked, the guest MCs disappeared, to be replaced by Leo The Lion as Kano delivered Nite Nite. He made the show more personal during this part of his set, talking to the crowd, going down along the front row and allowing himself to be at one with his fans whilst Leo sang the chorus to his last single
When the guitar-led Typical Me was played, it meant a return for the 3 henchmen, which signalled the start for Ghetto to really show what he can do. His final verse on Typical Me pulled no punches before Mic Check played out and his near-epileptic stage presence brought out multiple cheers and screams from the people in the pit.
Throughout the good natured set, when it was thought that nothing could top what was just heard, Kano pulled out anthem after anthem, none more apparent that the Ps & Qs remix of Damian Marley’s Welcome To Jamrock which got the one finger skanking hype and the booties shaking. After crowd favourite Ghetto Kid and Reload It, Kane told the crowd it was time to wrap it up because of the security curfew, and asked if we wanted him to be arrested like [Ms] Dynamite, to delighted whoops.
The encore was a more laid back affair with a track lifted from his recent mixtape Beats And Bars and the chilled out Brown Eyes. But his set was anything but laid back and chilled over all, he was great on the mic throughout the entire show and he was backed up not just by other MCs who were friends of his, but 3 MCs who each had their own personality and gave something to the show instead of just cluttering the stage. Curfews or not, this was a hot show, and the diversity of the set list made it even more enjoyable, instead of just relying on the material that made him big. He gave it back to the old school fans and kept it as grime as he could. Spot on.
For more info on Kano, go to www.ka-no.com