On the 8th October, I was at The Riverside venue in Newcastle reviewing Akala, a rapper whose credentials are envied by other rappers. His show was as impressive as expected; full of energy and an incredible display of lyrical talent with versus from all his six albums. As a result, I was worried Kano’s show would be a slight disappointment as Akala had set such a high bar. However, Kano far exceeded my expectations.
What was so impressive about Kano’s performance was the way he performed smash-hit after smash-hit. His energy on stage translated in to the crowd as he jumped up and down, high-fived the crowd during songs and leant on his live musicians while rapping with braggadocio as only a grime veteran could. It is important to remember that, although Kano released his first album in 2004, he had been performing at raves and open mic nights with his former N.A.S.T.Y Crew well before. As a result, not only was his technical ability impressive but so was his ability as a performer.
His repertoire of hits to choose from is incredible having released 5 albums over the course of ten years. ‘Typical me’ from his debut album Home sweet home went down just as well with the crowd as ‘Garage Skank Freestyle,’ from his fifth album Made of the Manor. As a result, the level of energy in the crowd was insane.
"I’ve never seen a crowd so active"
The show peaked when Kano performed ‘3-wheel ups,’ from Made in the Manor. People started jumping up and down the second the distinctive trumpet sound started and the cheering was immense. As Kano was on the stage growling and prowling, people were holding each other back to make an empty circle to have a mosh-pit in. Before the third chorus, there were 3 pockets of circles and the security were restlessly looking from Kano, to the sweaty crowd who preparing to run into each other. Just before the chorus, Kano snarled ‘We don’t do none of that bare-faced fibbin’, the realest shit on the airwaves innit,’ and then Riverside erupted once more. I’ve never seen a crowd so active.
Kano is playing in Sheffield on the 29th October in Sheffield. Go - you will not be disappointed.