Lethal Bizzle at Royal Holloway Student Union

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As a resident of North London for about 18 and a bit years or so, grime is a genre I have found hard to ignore. I don’t hate it, but I’m not going to be trawling the new releases section of my local urban record store (Boombox Records, Palmers green. ZOOP ZOOP!), for a deep cuts album I can spend a lonely Sunday afternoon listening to. I like the big tunes. And Lethal Bizzle possesses one of the biggest tunes of the last decade in his repertoire, a tune that most grime artists would kill to be able to have in their back pocket if a crowd isn’t going as hard as they might like. “POW! (Forward)” was released all the way back in 2004, the stone age of British rap, and is the only reason that I and, I’m guessing, half of my fellow audience members purchased a ticket to see Lethal B at the Student Union on Friday. Arriving onstage a full 40 minutes late to rapturous applause that I can only assume was generated by a mixture of relief and Jaegermeister, Bizzle seemed disinterested throughout the first half of his performance. Wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with the word ‘DENCH’, which is short for ‘Dentures’ I believe, and complaining about the lack of sound being emitted from his microphone (going a tad deaf in your old age Bizzle?), I began to get the sense that maybe after 9 years in the game the once mercurial Lethal B was past it. Then the opening salvo of ‘POW!’ blared over the speaker system and the room crumbled at the power of one of grimes greatest anthem’s. Fists flew. Bodies were flung. And I feel sorry for anyone under the height of 5’6. It must also be noted that Lethal B managed to stage dive into an unsuspecting crowd of punters which is always impressive, especially at a fresher’s event. That, coupled with his performance of House Of Pain’s ‘Jump Around’ as a grand finale made the whole night worth it and provided the perfect end to fresher’s week, for me at least. Because for 20 minutes in that sweaty, crowded room inside the student union, I felt like I was back in London. No wonder I spent an hour afterwards trying to find a tube station to get home…
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