Gig Review: Loyle Carner | Corner Hotel | Melbourne | 05.05.17

Monday, May 8, 2017

When you think of hip hop that has come out of the UK, the first thing that probably springs to your mind is grime — I don't blame you, it's the only style of hip hop from the region that gets attention and radio spins in Australia. I've got love for grime, but sometimes I want more — I want conscious flows, stunning instrumentals and soul. Enter Loyle Carner.

Not many hip hop artists can create or emulate the brand of rap Loyle Carner creates. Each song he writes and spits is a raw and honest story of the trial and tribulations of his life. You know when you hear one of his songs that he's poured his entire being into it and that the words mean so much more to him than we'll ever know. 

During his hour set, he gave the crowd a mix of everything — intensity, quieter moments to appreciate the words, acapellas and freestyles. It was an excellent overview of him as an artist and what he brings. 

He played a combination of tracks, most coming from his most recent album Yesterday's Gone (which dropped in February). Some of the material he covered included 'The Isle Of Arran', '+44' (also accompanied by a nice acapella break), 'Florence', 'Ain't Nothing Changed', 'Damselfly' and 'No Worries'.

He was also gifted with a t-shirt from a fan who through the package on-stage. 

The highlight for me (and safe to say everyone who attended the show) was his closing performance of 'Son of Jean', which is a song that combines samples from his father's music and a spoken word verse by his mother. Though the crowd wanted more, Carner instead delivered a freestyle (though I'm arguing that it was poetry), leaving everyone covered in goosebumps. If you have ever had any doubts on whether one can call hip hop poetry, here's your answer — his lyricism and ability to turn his words into magic is poetry. Hip hop music is poetry, let's stop the argument, I now have solid evidence to back it up. 

If you catch Loyle Carner live, be prepared to be moved in ways you didn't think was possible. 

Written by Amy Smolcic

Photographer: Kristy Smolcic