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.