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FOLLOWING the release of his fifth studio album earlier this month, Grime veteran Kano announced his live show revival with a nine-date UK tour. Quays News reporter Sam Halligan was at the Manchester Academy 2 for us…
The penultimate ‘Made in the Manor’ show saw the east-London MC tear up Manchester’s Academy 2, with help from special guests Jammz, and Elijah & Skilliam.
With support acts varying between cities, nobody initially knew who would be warming the stage; however it wasn’t long before it was made clear, with fellow east-end producer/MC Jammz exploding onto the stage in an angry blaze of glory.
If you want a crowd hyped, book Jammz. It’s as simple as that.
The short but sweet set was more than enough time for him to boast his gritty, tempestuous flow in light of his forthcoming ‘Keep it Simple‘ EP, with tracks such as ‘Final Warning’ and ‘Merky Lemon’ notably getting the gun fingers going around the room. Most recent release ‘Mr Wait’ closed an enthralling performance, leaving an animated crowd more than fulfilled.
After an exuberant first half hour, Grime connoisseurs Elijah & Skilliam took over the decks, delivering an expertly constructed mix that got everyone skanking, even the fat old blokes at the bar.
‘Side By Side’ by Sir Spyro, Bossman Birdie & President T being mixed into Royal T’s ‘I Know You Want Me’ being a personal highlight.
A solid mixture of new tracks such as P-Money’s ’10/10′ and Chase & Status & Frisco’s ‘Funny’, with classics such as D Double E’s ‘Street Fighter Riddim’, Wiley’s ‘On A Level’ and ‘Oi’ by More Fire Crew saw the Academy 2 descend into chaos, and this was only the warm up.
With the crowd perfectly prepared, the man of the moment took the stage, with the sinister electric guitar riff from ‘Hail’, the opening track and single from ‘Made in the Manor’, roaring behind him.
From the onset Kano displayed a burning passion that complemented his raw musical talent; it is difficult not to appreciate an artist who takes such genuine pride in his work.
This passion was more than evident when performing the B-Side to ‘Hail’ – the aptly named ‘New Banger’; which completely blew the roof off of the place.
Following suit in a similar fashion was a mixture of new, upbeat material such as ‘This Is England’ and ‘3-Wheel-ups (ft. Giggs)‘, and a range of classics from the East Ham MC’s decorated career; the likes of ‘Hustler’ and ‘Reload It‘; all of which provoking mayhem from an exceptional crowd.
Kano demonstrates his versatility as an artist throughout the ‘Made in the Manor’ album, with a number of slower tracks designed to connect with the listener on a deeper, more poetic level, and the live show embraced this remarkably.
‘Strangers‘ had everyone appreciating humanity for a few minutes; you know those arms around your mates telling them how glad you are that you met them ones. Yeah, one of them.
‘T-Shirt Weather In The Manor’ on the other hand was like listening to a short, relaxing poem about a typical kid growing up in East London: “Ice cream van yeah chase it down, screwball; 99, flake it out.” being a personal favourite lyric.
As the set came to an end, heads dropped and people began to trudge towards the exit, only to be halted by the classic, now 11-years-old instrumental to ‘P’s & Q’s‘. Roars flew around the Academy, before “Some manners don’t like me, they try and bad mind me, when Kano comes to town” was blared in unison.
The second and final track of the encore was recent fan favourite ‘Garage Skank Freestyle‘, and it was definitely the most anticipated; it went off expectedly, and Kano finished in style.
At 30-years-old he’s still killing it; the new album is great, and that was a top drawer performance in Manchester last night.