Tinie Tempah @ KoKo – Camden

8 Nov

 

Words by Rahsian Parris

It’s Wednesday night in Camden Town and the geek specs are out in full force. No prescription required. Hoards of Tinie Tempahs line the perimeter of London’s KoKo waiting to see their hero. Despite how slowly the line seems to be moving, there is still pushing and squeezing past bodies as 2,000 plus Tinie Tempah fans struggle to get into the venue. They must get in first, they must get a good view, lens-less 3D glasses or not. Screams of excitement fill the middle balcony as the crowd swim past presenter Reggie Yates who obligingly stops for a few photos (less obliging when asked for directions).

The first support act came and went in the blink of an eye, can anybody remember his name? Nope, didn’t think so. Second up was G-Fresh who obviously had a good time the night before as he could barely talk let alone rap. Disappointing to say the least. With intervals of Grime/Pop DJ-ing, the supporting gem of the night was stand-out R ‘n’ B act and Tinie BFF Bluey Robinson. Solid performance, fantastic vocals and generally great songs, notably his rendition of King’s Of Leon’s ‘Sex on Fire’ and Wheatus’ ‘Teenage Dirtbag’; crowd pleasers amongst the not so Grime inclined. When X Factor stars One Direction, Cher Lloyd and Mary Byrne decided to make their presence known within the crowd there were head turns and screams from most of the crowd. Though, when Bluey commented “Oh is Cher Lloyd here?” a wave boos swept through venue like a bad smell.

Last but not least was Philadelphia’s Chiddy Bang who trawled through a few songs before impressing with his crowd inspired ‘freestyle’. His drummer warned us that we would be converted, he was right. It felt like hours (it literally was) before Tinie Tempah finally arrived on stage to flashing lights and dramatic drums. Opening with ‘Simply Unstoppable’, Tempah emerged, energetic and sprightly, dressed in all black; gilet, T-shirt, shorts and trainers and of course Wayfarers.

One thing about Tinie Tempah is that he likes to talk. He made a point of chatting and introducing his songs. Though still humble since picking up several music awards this year, his talking became tiring, especially during his sermon-like speech about ‘letting go of your obsessions’. “You need to know when it’s time to let go of whatever it is you’re obsessed about” he preached, “whether it’s drugs, alcohol, sex…”, he went on before track ‘Obsession’. It would have been a touching moment of self-awareness for many had he not downed two shots of Jack Daniels straight after. Be that as it may, the show in general was one of class and high standards. Highlights included ‘Wonderman’ with superstar Ellie Goulding and P Diddy’s ‘Hello Goodmorning’ with Grime favourite Tinchy Stryder.

What is endearing about Tinie Tempah is his seemingly grounded nature despite his sudden rise from rags to riches. However, this felt threatened by what was almost the ‘Tinie Tempah and Friends Show’ when after star appeared either on stage or in the crowd. Bringing X Factor hopefuls One Direction, Cher Lloyd and Mary Byrne onto the stage during the finale was one big cheese fest; thankfully hidden in part by the excessive use of confetti. Though the fact remains that his ability to do such things whilst remaining highly respected within his genre is testament to his commercial potential. The question that now stands is can he put on consistently good shows minus the help of his celebrity friends?

 

 

Check out more from Tinie Tempah @ TaleTela.com

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