Last night I attended the long awaited I Luv Live Special, which featured performances from Roses Gabor, Ghetts, Kano, Mikey J and a surprise appearance from Wretch 32. On a whole, the night was pretty top standard. Ghetts and Kano predictably teamed up on stage for a heartfelt rendition of their new release House of Pain, while Roses Gabor got the crowd going with her energetic, animated performance.
Unsurprisingly the venue was completely packed out, even before the sets started, and even more people streamed in moments before Ghetts came on stage. The atmosphere was fantastic throughout the night. There was a huge range of people there, from long-standing grime lovers to newer fans who had probably started to explore Kano’s music after his starring role in Top Boy last year, and this made the night even better.
The first set was from a young singer and pianist from Manchester named Ruby Ann Patterson, who came on stage and sang her heart out for three beautifully written and executed songs. My personal favourite was the second one, Goodbye, a witty song she had written about her ex-boyfriend.
Next up was MC and singer Roses Gabor. Ms Gabor’s energy was on a different level; you would be forgiven for assuming that she had drunk ten Red Bulls before she came on stage. She got the crowd hyped with her liveliness and unique sparkle, and I must add that I absolutely loved her style, especially the furry jacket (which she unfortunately told me she bought in Australia– sob – no furry jacket for me).
Ghetts’s set was next, and everyone was hyped up for the performance. He burst on stage with insane energy and set to work with performances of some of his best grime classics, and some newer tracks. I could not believe that Ghetts was once regarded as justKano’s hypeman; his stage presence is too strong to ignore and he has certainly come into his own over the past few years. I have never seen him live but he exceeded my expectations.
Following Ghetts was the main man of the night: Kano. He kept the crowd waiting Wembley-style, but it was worth it. He was more chilled out than Ghetts, but he performed confidently and I could hear people praising him all around me. The highlight of Kano’s set was when he brought Wretch 32 and Scorcher on stage during E.T.
After having spoken to a few people who attended the night, there seems to be a general consensus about the performances – Ghetts went in really hard and had the whole place rocking, but Kano could have done better in his set. When they did House of Pain they sat down for the whole song, which I found surprising, because despite the fact that it is a long track (around seven minutes), the people at the back could not see them. In my opinion, a performance is not just about hearing the music, but seeing it too. House of Pain is a passionate, important track, and it was difficult for them to portray this by sitting down.
Overall, the event was really well organised and everybody I spoke to had an excellent evening. Closing with the usual open mic session at the end was a nice finishing touch, and it gave people a chance to hear some good freestyles. If I had to describe the night in one word, it would be energetic. From the performances to the crowd, the staff and the music itself, the energy was mad. Definitely a night to remember.