Review: Krept & Konan at Switch, Southampton

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Krept & Konan have blown up this year after the release of their debut album The Long Way Home. The South London duo’s previous project, the Young Kingz mixtape broke a world record for being the ‘Highest-Charting UK album by an Unsigned Act’. They are also currently nominated for four MOBO awards including Best Song and Best Album; and it’s not like they’re only getting attention in the UK. The pair have been getting a lot of love across the pond and in June 2014 won a BET for ‘Best International Act: UK’. To have collaborations with Wiz Khalifa, YG and Rick Ross on a debut album by a duo from a little Island is pretty astonishing.

Support for the evening came from Fekky, also hailing from South London. He has made a big impact on the scene in the last two years and had his first debut headline show at XOYO in London on the 27th of this month. He’s got his head screwed on straight and his eyes forward to the future. Expect him to follow in Krept & Konan’s footsteps and achieve similar success.

Arriving at Switch an hour and a half before the doors opened, by myself, wearing my prized Boy Better Know t-shirt, I guess it could be said that I was pretty keen for this one. Switch was transformed from its usual layout during club nights to house a stage below the DJ booth.

Following a DJ set by Zha, the Southampton-based live hip-hop group took to the stage as a scaled down version of their usual strong presence of eight. In place of the band was their DJ who provided instrumentals for the four MCs. They played a short but funk-filled set, which induced plenty of rhythmic head nods throughout the venue as they rapped along to stripped back, hip-hop beats.

Next up on the stage was Fekky, who before even coming to the stage had the crowd already hyped up thanks to his DJ chanting “when I say ‘big’, you say ‘Fekky’”. I’ll save the rest, you get the gist. Performing a new, unreleased song ‘Up’ as well as his recent track with Skepta, ‘Way Too Much’, Fekky proved to have full command of the crowd. Moving from one end to the other, even crowd surfing at one point, all eyes were on him and from that, demonstrated that he is a true modern showman. Fekky saved his most famous release, ‘Still Sittin’ Here’, for the end. He knows just as much as anyone that it is his most well known track, emphasised by the fact that he played it three bloody times.

You know the crowd love you when you can get away with reloading a track three times and still receive the same energy from everyone in the room. Give it a couple of years and when Fekky returns to Southampton with more tracks under his belt, expect him to be playing a big headline show.

Eager not to be crushed again and to avoid girls distracting the performance by fighting, I resigned to the side of the venue to enjoy my third time seeing Krept & Konan. The pair ran onto the stage after a suitably inebriated crowd turned to their best friends and screamed in excitement to the opening few seconds of ‘Certified’. Sadly Rick Ross couldn’t make it, but they did well without him.

Much to the dismay of the security, of whom one member had already been told to go fuck himself by K&K’s DJ, the twosome encouraged a huge circle to be opened up in the middle of the dance-floor and for any females present to move to the side because obviously things were about to get hostile. The drop in ‘F.W.T.S’ soon caused the circle to close up. In similar fashion to Fekky, the couple played arguably their most famous track, ‘Don’t Waste My Time’, twice and the crowd loved it in the same way they did with ‘Still Sittin’ Here’. Finishing with ‘Freak of the Week’ and their DJ concluding their set with ‘Hotline Bling’, everyone’s favourite track right now, the duo left the stage to end their three city league micro-tour.

It’s wrong to look too deeply into this gig and say, “This music is crap, where are the instruments? They are literally repeating the same thing over again and the bass is hurting my little chest”. But that’s not the point. The truth is that the music isn’t for everyone, but the same can be said for literally everything out there. Like Fekky says in ‘Still Sittin’ Here’: “Tell them keep their dictionaries, all them long words fam, we don’t give a fuck about that. We just come ‘ere and make the crown go mad”.

And that is exactly what Fekky and Krept & Konan do. The crowd and the artists have a mutually beneficial relationship where they are fuelled from the hype of one another and it makes for an absolutely insane live performance.

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