GUEST BLOG: Matthew Walsh
Last Thursday evening just £7.70 was enough to grab a ticket to see one of grime’s bigger names at the scuzzy/cosy Waterfront Studios in Norwich: Krept & Konan. My friend insisted tickets would sell out in a day, so out of impulse and FOMO I decided to buy one.
This review is with the caveat that most people seemed to enjoy the pair’s high energy/ low content set at the two thirds full venue. Their appreciation was shown through simultaneous moshing and filming of the gig, an exercise in multitasking that impressed me more than the talent on stage.
The pairs’ songs mostly sounded like the hip-hop I associated with American college house parties and it lacked the dry Britishness which has both distinguished grime and made it so appealing to those outside the intended demographic.
This generic 3* display mixed with the lure of a comedy cult legend downstairs, led me and a fellow attendee to take the plunge down to the heart of darkness…a Super Hans DJ set.
Shortly after our surprise at the absent security between the two shows (a useful note for future gigs) my mate described the decision as ‘the best thing we’ve ever done’. As every decision always seems after a few beers.
The chance to maybe touch Matt King (aka Hans) on one of his forays into the crowd led us to shove through to the barriers almost as fast as a drug-free Super Hans running to Windsor.
The music felt far more varied than Krept & Konan and the UK’s favourite crack addict a more compelling frontman. The set infused enough of a back catalogue of satisfying Peep Show references to avoid too much of a novelty gimmick feel. The crowd even began booing at peers who weren’t shouting niche enough quotes.
The ‘last remaining contestant on the apprentice’ (a Hans hit with his band, the inventively named ‘Man Feelings’) would’ve won the task against Krept & Konan by any measure in terms of a cohesive and captivating show.
However, out of a sense of ‘we probably should’, we headed back upstairs to the grime, only to find the show end 5 minutes later (about 40-45 minutes in with no proper warm up act). This would’ve made the £7 feel less of a snip if it didn’t mean the opportunity to catch the end of Super Hans. This also gave substance to their earlier mention of their heroics at putting the Norwich show on whilst ‘making a loss’. Weren’t we all…
For some context to my unenthusiastic review of the act I’d intended to see, I did go in there with more than an awareness that I wasn’t their normal customer. I overheard a fellow gig goer ask his friend ‘what are these doing here’, after sighing at my flannel shirt and friend’s dad dancing.
I didn’t plan or even want to dislike Krept & Konan. In fact, after watching some of the festival sets of grime’s biggest names on TV over summer I was quite ‘hyped’ to sample some.
Unfortunately, the duo were ‘marmalade’ compared to the Super Hans/Peep Show ‘jam’ session downstairs.