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KABAKA PYRAMID @ THE 02 ACADEMY, ISLINGTON

“Rastaman original / Livity so metaphysical” (Kabaka Pyramid)

“Rastaman original / Livity so metaphysical”
                                                                          (Kabaka Pyramid)

Hot on the heels of his well received single ‘Can’t Breathe’ earlier in the month, the 800 capacity 02 Academy, Islington welcomed Kabaka Pyramid and The Bebble Rockers band on Thursday, June 22 2017, for the penultimate show of the successful Contraband Tour (UK).
With doors open at 7pm, I arrived at the venue around 8pm on a bright and beautiful summers evening to a steady gathering of loyal and dedicated Kabaka fans as well as a smattering of representatives from the press and the local reggae fraternity.

The show was previously scheduled for the Electric Brixton (the London venue that he performed at back in November 2015) so there was some apprehension that this could affect the numbers present. However vibes and energy transmitted from the artiste – not numbers, are what truly make a memorable and worthwhile experience for any true fan.

The show started on time with the conscious reggae sounds of Innergold International fronted by brothers Heartical and Mikee Majestic building upful vibes before the first supporting artiste – the petite songstress, Marla Brown was introduced to the stage by Seani B. (BBC 1Xtra)

Backed by The Soul Rebel Band the denim clad Brown brought a youthful exuberance to the stage as she paid homage to her beloved father, the late, great Dennis Brown CD with solid, timeless classics such as ‘Revolution’. Marla also treated us to tracks from her ‘Survivor’ EP such as ‘Better Days’ and my personal favourite –  a moving tribute dedicated to her Dad by way of the the fifth track from her EP – ‘Here Comes The King’

Marla Brown

                                                            Marla Brown

Fresh from his recent North American tour, the London based Randy Valentine, also supported by Soul Rebel – entered the stage wearing a black fedora crowning his maturing dreadlocks and received a hearty, energetic welcome from a lively and enthusiastic audience.

As expected, Randy gave an impassioned performance and his confident command of the stage showed his experience as an established artiste on the scene. A memorable moment was provided when he began belting out ‘Lock Me Up’ , the third track from his 2014 ‘Break The Chain’ EP. A female fan seemed to be enraptured by the spirit of the lyrics as she wheeled, spun and dipped to every verse of the song as if she was in a revival church.

Randy Valentine

Randy Valentine

With the audience suitably warmed up by the supporting acts, it was not long before The Bebble Rockers along with backing singer and the talented Nicolleen Brown would take over the stage in preparation for the headline act of the night.

Entering the stage from the right, Kabaka walked on with a luminous smile and arms wide open.

Dressed in bright red trousers, gold jacket and Puma sneakers, surely it was no coincidence that those are the colours for Arsenal Football Club crest?

Kabaka Pyramid

                            Kabaka Pyramid

As has become customary among his musical peers, we were given a medley of songs throughout the night from his Rastafarian contemporaries starting with Protoje beautiful but socially conscious ‘Resist Not Evil’ and of course Protoje and Chronixx anthemic tune ‘Who Knows’

Kabaka takes us on a musical journey through genres, where he dips into his reggae catalogue and shares militant tracks like ‘No Capitalist’ from his 2013 ‘Lead The Way’ EP , recently released ‘Friends Like Those’ (Harmonious Riddim) and ‘Liberal Opposer’ (Rough Road Riddim) as well as several tracks from the ‘Accurate’ mixtape.

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By around 10:30pm the tempo changes and we see Kabaka switch up genres to show us his talents as a rap lyricist as he invites UK singer / songwriter Marshall on stage for a cypher which sent the crowd into a frenzy.

Kabaka & Marshall

                              Kabaka & Marshall

Bouncing from one end of the stage to the other, we really see the versatility of the artiste as he starts spitting verses from Kabaka v Pyramid  from the Accurate mixtape. If you’re not familiar with this track – this is where we see Kabaka in a fictional rap battle with his alter ego.

Except, for this show, the rap battle was with his guitarist Shakair aka ‘Stamma’ which was all done in good fun with a healthy dose of braggadocio and puffing of chests.

 KABAKA AND SHAKAIR

KABAKA AND SHAKAIR

Kabaka really gets the crowd involved by rapping over the familiar piano riff of Dr. Dre 1999 hit: ‘Still D.R.E.’ as he declares his love for hip hop music

“Put your hands up / rock with me / rock with me

By the time Kabaka got around to singing the much anticipated ‘Can’t Breathe’ off the upcoming ‘Contraband’ album, his audience were totally enraptured by every move and every lyric as they sang it word for word. Removing his gold jacket and now drenched in perspiration, we could see that Kabaka had given his all and more to present this show to his fans.

And as I looked around the venue, I saw fans putting their lighters in the air, some with quite sombre faces. It felt like in that moment we were all a community in solidarity against the oppressive political and social systems.

Fans at the Kabaka show

 Fans at the Kabaka show

Curfew was at 11pm sharp and no one was ready to leave. This had been an exciting and dynamic show – a credit to Kabakas team and London was truly blessed to have been part of this experience.

After the show, the lights all switched on and most of the fans were on their way out or gone, Kabaka emerged from backstage, clearly exhausted but happy – the show was a success. He spent the rest of the time before the doors finally closed to meet and greet fans, autograph t-shirts and other paraphenalia. This was a really thoughtful move and shows that KP has his feet firmly planted on the ground and one who truly respects his fans.

We wish him and his team all the best as they continue on to Europe ahead of the soon to be released ‘Contraband’ album. Also kind thanks to Abishai for graciously allowing press access to this event.

 

 

Please look below for all the social media reactions to this incredible event:

Accurante Mad Mad concert Mi seh the Ankh is betta #kabakapyramidlive

A post shared by LaChouett Couture (@lachouettcouture) on

Curfew was at 11pm sharp and no one was ready to leave. This had been an exciting and dynamic show – a credit to Kabakas team and London was truly blessed to have been part of this experience.

After the show, the lights all switched on and most of the fans were on their way out or gone, Kabaka emerged from backstage, clearly exhausted but happy – the show was a success. He spent the rest of the time before the doors finally closed to meet and greet fans, autograph t-shirts and other paraphenalia. This was a really thoughtful move and shows that KP has his feet firmly planted on the ground and one who truly respects his fans.

We wish him and his team all the best as they continue on to Europe ahead of the soon to be released ‘Contraband’ album. Also kind thanks to Abishai for graciously allowing press access to this event.

Except for show poster & song lyrics – report and photos – lizzy brown / aka eye and i / @iameyeandi / disyahreggaemusic.tumblr / www.eyeandiphotography.com

Please visit www.kabakapyramidbandcamp.com.com for all tour dates and current information on the artiste as well as on all the usual socials.

Please visit www.kabakapyramid.bandcamp.com for all tour dates and current information on the artiste.

Except for show poster & song lyrics – report and photos – lizzy brown / aka eye and i / @iameyeandi / disyahreggaemusic.tumblr / www.eyeandiphotography.com

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