This is going to sound like a diary entry of the adventures of Salfreckles…well, it kind of is!
This time last week I was finishing a painting and taking photos of the recent artwork I’ve done in tribute to Pete Rock & CL Smooth, the day was mine, and the night was going to feel like a triumph!
I first saw Pete and CL as an enthusiastic teen in the 90s, and again in 2012 when there was a different sense of awe in me, a nostalgic awe at the power they, and the music had, to rewind me back to my teenage self, who sought solace in music — especially of the hip hop variety, and I know, I know, I’m not alone there!
So, on the 15th October 2017, I entered the venue to fuse the love for my art and hip hop together.
It was a solo mission to deliver a piece of artwork to Corey (CL Smooth). Over the summer, I’d posted a few adaptations of my “Look Ma, no shoelaces” illustration on Instagram [@sal_freckles] and one in particular caught his eye! He’d been humbled how I’d quoted his lyrics, I promised that next time, when in London it’s his! Low and behold, a date was soon announced.…
It’s always a bonus when the support act compliments the main. Being in the room, listening to Micall Parknsun warm us up nicely with Mr Thing on the turntables and Joker Starr’s motivating support, I felt at ease, at home, and not alone!
When Pete Rock came out and stood at the decks, he asked if we were ready?!!
Of course, we were indeed !
Celebrating 25 years of “Mecca and the Soul Brother” an album on which every tune is lovable, CL came on stage bursting with enthusiasm and passion. He maintained this high energy throughout. (sipping a cup of tea in between tunes!)
Watching the crowd reminisce in unity (no pun intended) of our younger years, warm in the knowledge of how it made us all feel back then was sweet!
CL did his graceful hip hop moves along with the crowd’s cheers, showing us that he was still feeling the music as deeply as we were. Pete joining the front stage to perform “The Creator” hyped us up, that track is just jump up speedboat material!! of course “Reminisce” had to go on the PULL-UP list!
A show like theirs reminds you of the work put in, if you’ve been to gigs, you know that not all artists can perform well, they lack energy, enthusiasm and character…. Or they just don’t have the passion anymore. Pete and CL were a shining example of a performance done in appreciation of the fans who still support.
Bonus was, I met CL afterwards and revealed his piece of art in a chocolate box! He then gave the fans time by coming out into the arena to take pics, give hugs, and appreciate those who appreciate him!
In case you missed it — Catch our interview with CL Smooth Here.
Photo credit: Sally Murrow aka @sal_freckles
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