Entered a contemporary venue, Rich Mix in Bethnel Green that is, with staff to meet us at the door. Friendly and warm, buss a couple of jokes and the night began on a good note.
Entered into the main hall and there was a bar to one side and Allo Mate merchandise area to the other side, and various other outlets too. There was a photo area and football table also which added a community aspect to it from my thoughts. Strobe lights and a hazy smoke machine effect around the room.
A combination of fun, glamour and pizzazz. First thing you notice is everyone’s friendly and ready to have a good time,the DJs got riddims on and the crowd at the front is feeling it. I did like that the crowd vibing at the front didn’t care about anything else just dancing.
On the opening track double MOBO Award winner Gunva B took the stage with ‘Fear Is A Lie‘, untold energy and pure message of being brave and not listening to fear tell you otherwise. It was a good start to the evening bringing about an anticipation for what the night will bring.
Guvna B who put the whole night on under his Clothing Brand Allo Mate spoke on a few things.
The scene needs clean music.
This is the Lords night, a celebration of clean urban music.
Duo Zoe Grace took to the stage after with track ‘Something Amazing’, which was a good track, speaking of God’s mercy and grace helping them through the hard times. The sisters bounced off each others aura very well. Polished vocals.
Heavy beat which created a generous stir with the crowd and interaction that caused them to sing along with the song, a catchy chorus at that.Then we got to the number ‘Sweet Jesus‘, the vocals were top-notch, surprising, as I’ve never heard of them before . . . Rapping to singing.
Very bold with the message of Jesus and praising him. Sonically produced well. The mic’s could have been louder, or they could have projected more, which would help with the soft delivery of the duos vocals.
There were testimony videos between each performance by Yes He Is. This video interlude was of a young girl talking about struggling with depression, and finding God. It was a good breaker between the sets.
I can see a heart for evangelism here, placed very carefully.
Melvillous came out with a freestyle, got those in the crowd moved by lyricism and poetry straight away with his wordplay and content. He had a balanced blend of being “Good” by the standards of grace and not street even though by first glance you think he is. These points were evident in his lyrics and testimony.
Powerful bars and got the crowd warmed up, heated up, increased the atmosphere and Then dropped ‘Like That’ and it’s evident his passion is burning with life for his music. The crowd knew his music and it was banging.
He spoke after ‘Like That’ with these words:
I dont make that trap trap music where they say nothing.
He drops ‘Break My Heart’ a song we well at KCMix, a favorite for sure and he tears through the beat, lyrics are as powerful as thie video. You can see he embodies his lyrics very passionatly. Melvillous’ performance & energy is powerful, and relevant to ‘The Ends’.
He dropped a side note . . . His E.P called ‘Local’ coming in the summer.
Nick Brewer came out to a garage sending intro, not sure what to expect? The beat changes to a grime beat and instantly recognise the tight flow of this artist. Thumping beat and production instantly recognisable! Nick began to warm up the crowd, to ‘Funny Man’ business.
Heavily infused with the testimony of street life, where’s he come from. Nick shared a poem, which hits nerves in room, talking about his anxiety and opening up about it, and that being the cure. Conversation, being the cure to depression, because it takes you out of isolation, talking to other people can help you on the path to recovery.
Clear lyrics, wordsmith, a melodic style to his delivery, a very interesting style. I quite liked the way he moved around the stage, you see the artist getting lost in his performance, he really liked his music, so did the crowd.
Samm Henshaw, was a change to the proceedings, a singer who nailed the vocals to each of his songs which he played live for the crowd, on his red backed keyboard and laid back style. When he began to sing, yea, that was sweet to the ears. He really had good lyrics and played the keys very well.
You know when someone has good music … sonically… when they are presented to a crowd that has been listening to rap and grime music for the past 45 minutes and they manage to change the atmosphere of the room to their temperature and deliver their craft in an inspiring way. Samm did this, and he praised God while he did, encouraging others to do the same.
You can feel the crowd anticipating the arrival of Guvna B that has been on the scene for the past decade going from strength to strength. As the clock on-screen signs the arrival of the artist the crowd are buzzing.
Bursting on to the stage with a bang! No games straight into the song ‘Big Boy Riddims’ a jungle sounding track, with a hard rap-beat-break-up for the verses in very intelligent and artistic. I’m not a jungle fan but you can appreciate good craft when you hear it.
Guvna is not shy to involving the crowd on every track, making them a apart of the performance. This is was seen throughout his interaction on the night, on and off stage.
Mashing up tunes, in other words owning the stage as a performer and blessing the hearts as a minister. You can really get the sense that he has been doing this for a long time. The crowd is bubbling.
He slows it down and he talks about his dad passing away. He sombres the atmosphere, as the whole venue sympathetically share in his loss, he reminds the audience to think about family and friends, noting on how it is our responsibility to “spread love”.
He quotes his dad who is clear inspiration in his life too:
Your hands are made for working.
This is where his inspiration for Allo Mate Live stemmed from.
He then drops a smooth number with deep beats and heavy basslines, and a tight flow talking of the responsibility to serve people.Onto the next track he drops ‘#TwoZeroOneSix’ alone, which seemed strange, only to have A Star jump out on stage as his verse came in after Guvna’s. We recorded the second round of the track as the crowd wanted a repeat. Personally this track has been a favorite for a long time, seeing this track happen live was . . . hard!
‘Nothing But the Blood’ which feature Deitrick Haddon on the hook, is a song which reminded many of the believers in the room that it was because of the blood that we have access to God the Father, it positioned everyone’s thoughts at the end of a testimony filled night and dancing to a central place of redemption. The last song ended with the whole venue and Guvna singing out…
What can wash away my sins, nothing but the blood of Jesus.
As I left the venue greeting and meeting other people, I was pulled by this notion, I felt different to when I walked in. Each act gave their very best and got the atmosphere hot, engaged the crowd and supported each other. Revived, happy and feeling a bit more connected to this great scene we have. Some call it inspirational, positive, clean or Christian.
The truth is that the effect left on you is a lasting effect, one that pulls on the ‘change’ cord in your life. Testimonies of breakthrough and hard times, ups an downs all solved by a relationship with Jesus.
So whether you title it or not, the evidence is there, the scene is here and we just need to keep supporting, helping and investing into it. Last thing to say before I clock off….. ‘Allo Mate Live’ is the success we need more of in our culture. A Culture where Jesus is glorified through music, clothing & events.
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