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Video of the Moment #2070: Stormzy

 
By on Tuesday, 26th April 2016 at 6:00 pm
 

Last month, Stormzy was busy introducing himself to the American public, playing to a massive crowd at the BBC Music night Thursday at SXSW 2016. This week, Mister Grime has got for us another sneak peek from the deep recesses of his active mind, in the form of ‘Scary’. Produced by the legendary Sir Spyro, grime connoisseurs rejoice.

Stormzy will be appearing at the Great Escape 2016 next month, one of many appearances this summer festival season, I’m sure. His debut album – whose name we still don’t know – is expected out this summer.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7xA8Hzuyac[/youtube]

 

SXSW 2016: Thursday night with the BBC Music showcase at Stubb’s BBQ – 17th March 2016

 
By on Wednesday, 6th April 2016 at 2:00 pm
 

After Thursday afternoon’s amazing Output Belfast showcase at the British Music Embassy, I headed over to Stubb’s BBQ for another exciting UK-centric show, the inaugural BBC Music Showcase. The emcees for the evening, BBC Radio presenters Steve Lamacq (6 Music), Jo Whiley (Radio 2), Huw Stephens (Radio 1) and MistaJam (1Xtra) were almost as high profile as the showcasing artists themselves, who according to the official SXSW preview of the event, were chosen to “represent the breadth of genres BBC nurtures and supports.”

Given the magnitude of the artists scheduled to perform at Stubb’s that night, I thought it would be wise to queue early, and I arrived just as the line outside the venue was starting to form, almost 2 hours ahead of the show. Luckily for me, Stubb’s offers takeaway barbecue near the venue gates, so I was able to grab a delicious pulled pork taco while I waited to get in. My fellow punters, including Melinda Hasting, John Baker, and Walter Fields of SXSW showcasing act Missi and Mister Baker made fine company, and the time spent in the queue passed quickly.

Loretta Lynn at BBC Music at Stubb's, Thursday at SXSW 2016

The members of Missi and Mister Baker were at Stubb’s specifically to see the first act on the evening’s bill, country music legend Loretta Lynn. I was giddy with excitement to see Lynn myself, especially after featuring her in my preview article on feminism at SXSW 2016. Lynn was accompanied on stage by a full backing band, led by her son Ernest Ray, and their set on the night was predictably spectacular, from their introduction by BBC Radio 2 host Jo Whiley all the way through to the sentimental favourite final track ‘Coal Miner’s Daughter’. Jovial banter and playful teasing between mother and son punctuated the set list, which included shouted requests for “Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven’ and ‘Fist City’. After a bit of suspenseful coquetry on the part of Ms. Lynn, we were treated to her latest single ‘Everything It Takes’ before she swept the figurative curtain closed with ‘Honky Tonk Girl’ and her signature set closer.

Loretta Lynn at BBC Music at Stubb's, Thursday at SXSW 2016

Loretta Lynn was no doubt a difficult act to follow, and the crowd at Stubb’s dissipated somewhat after the end of her set. The front of the venue didn’t remain vacant for long though, as a more youthful set of punters filed in for the next act, the female-fronted trio Sunflower Bean. Introduced by BBC 6 Music’s Steve Lamacq, the up-and-coming New Yorkers took advantage of the large stage at Stubb’s both visually and sonically, creating an impressive display of psych rock force, especially in their extended performance of ‘Space Exploration Disaster’. For more on Sunflower Bean, you can read our Steven’s review of their debut album ‘Human Ceremony’ right back here.

Lapsley at BBC Music at Stubb's, Thursday at SXSW 2016

Nineteen-year-old Liverpudlian electronic singer/songwriter Låpsley appeared next on the Stubb’s stage, on the strength of her recent debut album ‘Long Way Home.’ I wasn’t previously familiar with Låpsley’s music, but a fellow audience member described her to me as “like Adele, only with a dance beat.” His assessment wasn’t far off, as it turned out. If you like the timbre of Adele’s singing voice but find her songs a bit too sleepy and weepy, Låpsley’s more urban edge might be just your speed. Check out her recent concept video for ‘Love is Blind’ just below.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/q9Jrlg6GnkY[/youtube]

I was even less familiar with Croydon grime artist Stormzy, who took the stage after an introduction by BBC Radio 1Xtra’s MistaJam. Though his given name is Michael Omari, Stormzy reminded us of his stage name several times in the course of his set, while also stirring up the crowd’s energy with frenetic onstage motion and relentless rapping over beats provided by his assistant, DJ Tiny. I couldn’t help but reflect on the contrast of styles between Stormzy and Loretta Lynn, and though Stormzy’s brand of hip-hop isn’t exactly to my taste, the formidable strength of his show was every bit as spectacular as Lynn’s opening set.

Stormzy at BBC Music at Stubb's, Thursday at SXSW 2016

Unfortunately a minor personal emergency near the end of Stormzy’s set meant that I was unable to stay at Stubb’s for the final act on the BBC Music bill, alt-folk rocker Jake Bugg. I have to admit that I was particularly disappointed not to see Bugg, who I also missed when he toured in America with Snow Patrol several years ago. On reflection, however, I feel fortunate that Mary I and found ourselves safe and sound at the end of the evening. Jake Bugg will remain on my musical bucket list for the time being; I’ll be keeping my eyes and ears open for possible future tour dates around his new third album ‘On My One’, which is due out in June. In the meantime, the video for his current single ‘Gimme the Love’ is playing just below.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/o70e7Nb8SVM[/youtube]

 
 
 

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF is edited by Mary Chang, who is based in Washington, DC. She is joined by writers in England, America and Ireland. It began as a UK music blog by Phil Singer in 2005.

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