Review: Lethal Bizzle at Southampton University

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On Monday 28th September, Lethal Bizzle played at the University of Southampton’s students union. The grime artist was supported by acts including Robyn Harvey and Foor.

Lethal Bizzle’s set was a disappointment to some. In comparison to the support acts’ sets which were roughly half an hour each, Lethal Bizzle was merely on for 25 minutes. However, Garden Court was nearly half-full for his set, but it is safe to say that the support for his preceding acts was poor in comparison.

Opening with ‘Rari Workout’, the ever-so-slightly inebriated crowd created an atmosphere which belied the small number of people actually in the room. After powering through a couple of hits, including ‘Pow’, ‘Fester Skank’ caused a sweaty, intense mosh pit to form, which even Lethal Bizzle himself commented on and complimented. The short set with no encore was not met with such great enthusiasm retrospectively, however, with many reflecting on the short nature of the set. In addition, Lethal’s repetitive use of football chants was fun at first but soon became dull – as Surge Radio‘s Toby Leveson said, he was “scraping the bottom of the barrel”.

Some of the audience began to suspect he was trying to do as little rapping as possible, as he was leaving much of the rapping to his DJ. Indeed, after the first song, Bizzle made it clear that he was trying to save his voice.

After the set, the rapper walked straight out with a towel over his head followed by excited chanting from the crowd who expected more. Certainly, we expected a more friendly approach by someone who did not manage to fill up Garden Court, let alone bigger venues – one of the security guards on duty summed his attitude nicely:

“You would think he would be a bit more appreciative of his audience – he’s not exactly a big artist with 10,000 people in the audience. He ain’t exactly the Beatles.

Most people who bought tickets for this event seemed to turn up only for Lethal Bizzle. Their retrospective disappointment may have been quelled if the same enthusiasm was brought to the support acts’ sets.

First up was 17-year old Robyn Harvey from South London who describes her sound as ‘real’.  Her set was performed to a fairly small audience who gave their full support. Robyn said to The Edge that this was her first proper gig.

“I want to start doing more things like this. It’ll hopefully set me up well for my future career. Lethal Bizzle is such a big name. I could probably name drop.”

Following the first act was a somewhat mediocre performance of covers. The audience was unfortunately small, but certainly the atmosphere created was fantastic considering the lack of people there.

The last big support act before Lethal Bizzle was Foor who told The Edge that they’d met at the Co-Op. Their bouncy, fun-loving attitude really came across on stage. It came across backstage too when, after the gig, they tried to persuade us to party with them – we may have accepted their offer of a couple of drinks!

We should definitely be clear that the immediate reception to Lethal Bizzle was fantastic, with many commenting that they had never been in such an atmosphere before, especially considering the size of the audience. Certainly, his set was one to remember!

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