As a resident of North London for 18 years, grime is a genre I have found hard to ignore. I don’t hate it, but don’t trawl the new releases section of my local urban record store (Boombox Records, Palmers Green), for a deep cuts album I can spend a lonely Sunday afternoon with. I like the big tunes.
Lethal Bizzle possesses one of the biggest tunes in grime of the last decade in his repertoire. ‘POW! (Forward)’ was released in 2004, and is the only reason that I and, I guess, half the audience purchased a ticket to see Lethal B at the Students’ Union.
Arriving onstage 40 minutes late to rapturous applause that I think was generated by a mixture of relief and Jaegermeister, Bizzle seemed disinterested throughout the first half of his performance. Wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with the word ‘DENCH’, (short for ‘Dentures’ I believe), and complaining about the lack of sound being emitted from his microphone (going a tad deaf in your old age Bizzle?), I began to get the sense that maybe after 9 years in the game the once mercurial Lethal B was past it.
Then the opening salvo of ‘POW!’ blared over the speaker system and the room crumbled at the power of one of grimes greatest anthems. Fists flew, Bodies were flung. And I felt sorry for anyone under 5’6”. Lethal B stage-dived into an unsuspecting crowd of punters which is always impressive, especially at a fresher’s event. That, coupled with his performance of House Of Pain’s ‘Jump Around’ as a grand finale made the whole night worth it and provided the perfect end to fresher’s week. Because for 20 minutes in that sweaty, crowded room inside the Students’ Union, I felt like I was back in London.