Review: Charlie Sloth (@CharlieSloth) The Plug Tour | London


Lon­don is the 27th biggest city in the world with 8.63 mil­lion people. We may not be the biggest but we’re a for­ce to be reckoned with. Grime is one of the things that make most proud to hail from East Lon­don. The same could be said for Charlie Sloth’s final stop on his The Plug tour. It, not only plugged artists that are well known (we’ll get to that part in a minute), but also cham­pioned the under­ground scene. The thing I loved most about it was these artists could be my next-door neigh­bours and they are tour­ing the UK and are tear­ing shit up! I was plugged into the sheer capa­city of gif­ted­ness that only a city like Lon­don can provide.

Charlie Sloth has had a pretty awe­some career. He is one of the reas­ons you nod your head to the likes of Bug­zy Malone. ‘Of Course’, a track from Giggs’ incred­ible 2016 album ‘Land­lord’, was pro­duced by Sloth. Finally, he gave us Fire in the booth: a online series plat­form­ing some of the most incred­ible free­styles known to man. For any Grime head, Sloth’s tour was cer­tainly not to be missed!

The tour star­ted in Leeds in Septem­ber 2017, vis­ited Glas­gow, then worked its way through all the major cit­ies in England before bound­ing for the reload in Lon­don town.

The night went in quick bursts — a rave-style fire in the booth. I was greeted with a large glow stick and an elec­tric crowd. I’ve nev­er asso­ci­ated glow sticks out­side of a fest­ival or a bass night but its appear­ance at the O2 for­um, Kentish Town instantly took my mind to Boy Bet­ter Know’s music video for Too Many Man- the UV — a paint rave. I stood quickly cor­rec­ted, with delight to have for­got­ten how beau­ti­fully mulit­fa­cited any cul­ture of truth is. Being London’s num­ber 1 raver and also a writer, nights like this make my job so much more sat­is­fy­ing and easy. Even on the most tired and sober of nights, these tal­en­ted artists put a smile on my face and a skank in my fin­gers.

Usu­ally at a gig I’m pretty much front and centre in order to really hear and see but the O2 for­um, Kentish Town has this real sense of con­nectiv­ity and intim­acy even though its vast in space and size. I spent the night wil­fully leav­ing the front to exper­i­ence the views from the back and from the top of the bal­cony. Beats, vibes and rhymes filled the entire room to the brim with energy – the night was elec­tric. A beau­ti­ful patch­work, with DJ Jonezy as the thread hold­ing it togeth­er, from the grime to the hip hop beats to even hav­ing space for some dance­hall and then, sud­denly, hit­ting hard with those afrobeats.

The South Lon­don col­lect­ive House of Pharaohs def­in­itely moved the crowd, ‘I can’t go left, I can’t go right’. I saw a sea of smart­phones cap­tur­ing the best of moments mixed with a whirl­wind of jump­ing, groov­ing and of course skank­ing. Mic Right­eous really stood out to me. His imme­di­ate com­mand and pres­ence deman­ded respect. Then, if that wasn’t already enough to keep us powered up and in. His first bar was, ‘you don’t wan­na get banged out’. Signed. Sealed. Delivered.

The mosh pit cre­ated by Fekky got me think­ing about how Grime and Rock can pro­duce a sim­il­ar kind of energy but in an extremely atyp­ic­al and unex­pec­ted way. So for all those fooled that mosh­ing doesn’t hap­pen out­side of a Rock or an essen­tially ‘white con­text’ this is exhib­it A. The circle was made. The tun­es were provided and the push­ing began. Fekky (or Big Fekky if you were there) in a khaki cam­ou­flage-esc jack­et (win­ter has come for sure) spun lyr­ics and per­form­ance into gold, Grime, great­ness.

The ter­rit­ory where Grime meets Trap is always excit­ing because you really see the indi­vidu­al­ity the UK music scene offers. The evol­u­tion of music and cul­ture is now primar­ily about how we can suc­cess­fully find new ways to fuse two ideas togeth­er. That is why, when Charlie Sloth erup­ted on the scene to end the 5 hours of Grime heavy hit­ters, you knew it was per­fect end to seam­less night. Sloth was no dif­fer­ent than how he appears online — energy, punch lines and power. He brought out Giggs, who undoubtedly right now is The Man. Giggs is a shin­ing example for any­one who has doubts about how to put out art authen­tic­ally, wheth­er it’s Grime, Trap or Rap I would even bet money on Giggs mur­der­ing a dance­hall beat. He was on and off in a flash Whip­pin’ Excur­sion dropped and the night was left as it begun. Money well spent for those that did pur­chase a tick­et and a big win for those lucky enough to tell the tale for free. Charlie wooed us but also allowed us to chill if we wanted to after all if you didn’t come from 9pm then you really missed out. The night fin­ished at 2am.

If and when this tour hap­pens again and you’re lucky enough to find out in time get a tick­et, it’s truly a fant­ast­ic example of how the music of the dis­en­fran­chised will always rise above and bey­ond expect­a­tion.


Fea­tur­ing -

Charlie Sloth
Big Tobz
House of Phar­oahs
Young Fume
Mic Right­eous
Rude Kid
Michael Dapaah

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Valerie Ebuwa

Valer­ie “wing girl” Ebuwa is a freel­ance dance artist and yoga teach­er from East Lon­don. She is cur­rently dan­cing for 3 con­tem­por­ary dance com­pan­ies and is one of the found­ing mem­bers of Eclectics Dance and CEO of Hip Hop House.

About Valerie Ebuwa

Valerie "wing girl" Ebuwa is a freelance dance artist and yoga teacher from East London. She is currently dancing for 3 contemporary dance companies and is one of the founding members of Eclectics Dance and CEO of Hip Hop House.