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Review: Akala @ The Moon Club

Posted by Little from Cardiff - Published on 06/12/2013 at 16:16
0 comments » - Tagged as Culture, Music

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Rockpie Promotions presents: Akala

Support acts: The Hellionz, Jugganote, Skunkadelic

Cardiff, 5th December 2013, The Moon Club

Speaking out for the many hip hop fans in Cardiff there is definitely room for more live hip hop and rap on the Cardiff music scene. The gig calendar doesn't do a very good job of reflecting the amount of people that listen to this popular genre, so the word that Akala, one of Britain's most respected MCs was paying us a visit came as welcomed news.

It was part of 'The Thieves Banquet' tour, arguably Akala's most impressive and certainly ambitious album to date. It was recorded with a full live band featuring Cassell ‘The Beatmaker’ (The Streets) on drums and Eric Appapoulay (Plan B) on bass.

Since his grime beginnings in 2003 he has developed as a musician, poet and performer and now heralded as 'one of the very few UK spokespeople for credible hip hop' (Time Out). I felt privileged to have the chance to watch him in such an intimate venue.

Support was provided by local performers including the very Welsh South Wales State of Mind.  Rap is unique in the sense that you get to hear someone's real voice in a much rawer form than through singing and the South Wales accents placed the night firmly in Wales.

The first duo were a complete contrast to Akala's positive, articulate and political lyrics, rapping about their love of swearing and encouraging the audience to swear back. An accurate description of  them came from a girl next to me referring to them as 'a mash up between GLC and the Dirty Sanchez boys'.

At 10 pm Akala and his full band made their appearance and from the first word Akala had the audience captivated. We felt and could relate to his frustration with society as he told his story effortlessly using carefully constructed lyrics, complex rhyme patterns and an infectious rhythm. 

He spoke of bankers, dictators and powerlessness, but also believed passionately about positive change. He rapped about slavery, the third world and unfairness and as if it was meant to be, the sad news about Nelson Mandela's death came from someone in the crowd. Akala stopped, said he needed to just take a minute and we all fell silent for 30 seconds in respect. This melancholy news only fuelled the London rappers energy and his lyrics directed us to a place of celebration, development and evolution.

He has an incredible flow which helps you to digest every word. He is perhaps so engaging because he is able to make you understand. By his last word, you see it as he does. You've felt it, experienced it, become frustrated, resolved, frustrated again and yet somehow leave feeling empowered. 

This is simple, honest and real music.

Info Â» Sport & Leisure Â» Performing Arts Â» Music

Organisations Â» Ministry of Life*

*want to learn to rap, check these guys out!

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