Review: Example at Portsmouth Guildhall (11/11/2014)

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Singer and rapper Example, (real name Elliot Gleave) performed at Portsmouth’s Guildhall on the 11th November supporting his album Live Life Living. The show was one of a 28 date tour, before Example will be taking a break from touring to focus on his expected new-born. Some fans were even able to get tickets to a meet-and-greet before the show.

Example was supported by DJ Wire, Delta Heavy and Benjamin Please. Due to the three support acts, it was not an initially packed out venue, however by the time Example took to the stage, the venue was filled with an excited and diverse fan base.

First support act was Benjamin Please, his DJ set did a fairly good job at warming up the crowd even if they began slightly hesitantly. Playing tracks such as ‘9TS (90s Baby)’ and the particular crowd pleaser ‘Take U There’, by Jack ft Keiza. He did however opt for the slightly cliché easy DJ go-to finishing on an indie classic with the Arctic Monkeys. This unfortunately proved to be a foreshadowing theme for all of the support acts.

Following Benjamin Please were electro-duo Delta Heavy. The pair fittingly provided a good mix of music, from dance to rap, remixing the likes of Calvin Harris and Rita Ora alongside original material, albeit if sometimes containing some particularly bizarre lyrics such as ‘feel the base in your abdomen.’

At this stage the audience was more excited for Example than ever. Dancing, shouting, and singing. Yet out comes yet another support act – DJ Wire. Although there are no problems with a solid two hours of dance music, one issue seemed to be the sets became slightly repetitive. DJ Wire’s particularly strong set seemed slightly overshadowed by the mass dance/indie tracks we had already been thrown. So his venture into remixes of the likes of Red Hot Chili Peppers, Vampire Weekend, Blur, the White Stripes, and once again the Arctic Monkeys seemed a bit strange. However, the three acts did ensure one thing; your desperation for the next act to be Example.

And he didn’t disappoint. Example was greeted by a roaring crowd and proved his strengths in live performance. Going straight in with the single ‘Stay Awake’, the atmosphere was buzzing and Example was on top form. With faultless vocals, it was easy to see why Example has become so popular. He performed tracks from his new album, such as ‘Kids again’, ‘One More Day’ and ’10 Million People’, but apart from those tended to turn to his large collection of older singles, and known crowd pleasers. In particular, favourites such as ‘Midnight Run’ and ‘Won’t Go Quietly’ really got the crowd jumping. Along with it, a lake of alcohol built up on the floor beneath us.

Example did a great job at getting everyone involved, urging the crowd to ‘get out of their fucking seats’, insisting we grab everyone around us in a dance-loving embrace. You can certainly see why he previously suffered from Achilles Tendinitis, as he gets equally as involved in the action as the crowd. One slight negative on the atmosphere were some of the delightful company we found ourselves surrounded by, who, on two different occasions, nearly got into fights. Apparently the mix of alcohol, jumping and dance music like in any club didn’t always prove the best mix, though similarly you left the venue incredibly pumped.

Example’s encore featured my personal highlight ‘Kickstarts’. It was good to enjoy some of his classics and the whole crowd sang along word-for-word, as they did with concluding track ‘Change The Way You Kissed Me’. Despite the incredibly dragged out support acts, Example himself created a brilliant atmosphere and performed practically all of his main singles without a hitch, the crowd dancing throughout. He definitely proved he is a strong live artist, making his performance seem like a walk in the park.

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Third year English and History student.

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