It’s been just over a year since I first saw Loyle Carner perform, opening up for Atmosphere at Concorde 2, and although his new single Ain’t Nothing Changed drives home that he’s still writing about the same issues, it was certainly a different Loyle Carner that took the stage at Green Door Store on Monday night.
It’s not that his previous performance was poor. Rather, clearly buoyed by selling out his first proper headline show he appeared the complete performer, delivering his brand of jazzy, smooth hip-hop alongside an excellent stage presence.
The size of Green Door Store means it’s always likely to be an intimate experience, but it wasn’t just the venue that made the experience so personal, it is the performance itself. He took us through the background and meaning behind his songs, he had us laughing, raising a glass to anyone we’d lost, and even brought his mum on stage before performing his tribute to her, an excellently crafted track using the vocals of Kanye West’s Heard ‘em Say.
Alongside longtime producer, and best friend, Rebel Kleff, Carner delivered an evening of beautiful, easy listening hip-hop, which combined heavily jazz influenced backing tracks and beats with tight lyrics that remind us that good hip-hop doesn’t have to be aggressive.
I don’t pretend to be any sort of UK hip-hop connoisseur, but Loyle Carner must surely be one of the most exciting young artists on the scene. This talented young man is a must see. If you missed him this time around, he’ll be back in February 2016 playing a show at London Village Underground.
By Ned Holmes