Review: Speech Debelle (@speechdebelle) Live At The @bookabeat PRE Launch

Thursday 26th June saw the ‘pre-launch’ show­case of excit­ing new com­pany Booka­Beat.  Foun­ded by styl­ish sis­ters Make­da and Naomi Peter, Booka­Beat launches offi­cially in Septem­ber and will be an online plat­form from which music­al acts can be booked for events, and the tal­ent on their books will be high, if this event is any­thing to go by.

Some­times you walk into a ven­ue and the vibe is so spot on it hits you imme­di­ately.  Such was the case upon enter­ing Madame JoJo’s for BookaBeat’s even­ing, the DJ was cut­ting some amaz­ing tracks and the atmo­sphere between the every­one so pos­it­ive it was inspir­ing.

Hos­ted by the cute and col­our­ful Miss Baby Sol, who per­fectly hyped the crowd with witty inter­ac­tion, the evening’s music kicked off with Irish solo artist Mon­crieff.  Backed by a fant­ast­ic band includ­ing a trum­pet and sax­o­phone, Mon­crieff filled the room with his power­fully soul­ful voice.  Singing an impress­ive col­lec­tion of ori­gin­al mater­i­al, Mon­crieff soured up and down the octaves with ease, his tone often remin­is­cent of ‘Strick­land Banks’ era Plan B.

The second act to play was acous­tic duo ‘Peter & Kerry’, who impressed bey­ond belief.  Play­ing a set of ori­gin­al mater­i­al and end­ing with a haunt­ing cov­er of Chris Issacs’ ‘Wicked Game’, the pair enchanted the audi­ence with their mel­li­flu­ous sound and poignant lyr­ics.  Both tal­en­ted musi­cians, Peter amd Kerry really work well togeth­er as a duo, they’re vocal and gui­tar lines wind­ing around each other’s per­fectly.

The final act on stage was UK rap­per Speech Debelle, win­ner of the 2009 Mer­cury Music Prize for debut album ‘Speech Ther­apy’.  Hav­ing been off the live cir­cuit for a while, work­ing on soon to be released third album, the per­form­ance marked a wel­come return to the live stage for one of the UKs finest con­tem­por­ary rap­pers.

Kick­ing off her set with the infec­tious ‘Stu­dio Back­pack Rap’, Speech took no time to get into her stride, deliv­er­ing intric­ate rhyme pat­terns with incred­ible ease.  The remainder of the set con­sisted of tracks from both of her pre­vi­ous albums includ­ing sing-a-long Spin­nin’ and the pain­fully emotive Ele­phant, as well as two new tracks, one of which, ‘Happy’, was a real instant-pleas­er and adds to the anti­cip­a­tion for Speech’s third album.

A real high­light of the set was Speech being joined on stage by fel­low rap­per and col­lab­or­at­or ‘Real­ism’ for their track ‘Blaze Up a Fire’.  There is a really strong cre­at­ive chem­istry between these two artists and wit­ness­ing them togeth­er live is always an awe­some exper­i­ence.

Fin­ish­ing her set with the atmo­spher­ic ‘Sun Dog’, the band (bass, keys, drums and Miss Baby Sol on back­ing vocals) swell­ing dra­mat­ic­ally behind Speech’s increas­ingly poignant vocal to cre­ate an epic son­ic exper­i­ence, left the audi­ence hungry for more.

The even­ing was a great exper­i­ence, show­cas­ing some real tal­ent and giv­ing us a real treat in the form of Speech Debelle’s set.  Booka­Beat looks set to be an excit­ing com­pany and if this show­case at Madame JoJo’s is any­thing to go by, they already have get­ting the vibe right down to an art.

Pho­to­graphy by : Ash­leigh Ash­ley

Micky Roots

Micky Roots


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Micky Roots

Micky Roots

Micky roots is one of the edit­ors of I am hip hop magazine, a pure hip hop head and visu­al artist he brings his strong know­ledge of hip hop, social con­scious­ness & polit­ic­al con­cern to No Bounds.

About Micky Roots

Micky Roots
Micky roots is one of the editors of I am hip hop magazine, a pure hip hop head and visual artist he brings his strong knowledge of hip hop, social consciousness & political concern to No Bounds.

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