Rejjie Snow + Slowthai & Ebenezer @ The Cambridge Junction

It is fair to say Rejjie’s Cambridge based fans had been waiting a long time for this gig. With an inconvenient reschedule delaying potential carnage in March, it felt as if everyone was twice as hyped for this date and ready for the uncharacteristic, for Cambridge, Saturday night chaos. The unusually warm and sunny April weather complemented the tunes off of the Dublin Rapper’s euphoric debut album, which he proceeded to play most of throughout the night.

Before the 24 year old graced the stage, Ebenezer and Slowthai provided a perfectly composed warm up, teasing the audience with their individual sounds. Personally, I was extremely excited to see Slowthai. In terms of 2018 breakthrough rappers, nothing has topped his blend of experimental grime and swagger filled lyrics. The snarling angst that encroaches on tunes like ‘North Nights’ and ‘T N Biscuits’ created a riotous atmosphere and sent the pissed teens in attendance into a proper frenzy.

After a brisk 15 minutes of attempting to recover from the Northampton rapper’s set, Rejjie Snow came storming on stage to ‘Hello’ and ‘Rainbows’. As chilled out as these songs are, with unexplainable reasoning, the crowd proceeded to divide and create the first of many mosh pits. Blending the low-fi hits off Dear Annie with oldies but goldies ‘Blakkst Skin’ and ‘1992’ made the set near on perfect. The only minor disappointment, for me, was he didn’t play ‘Snow (my rap song)’ but even then this would have felt out of place in the narrative of the set.

Cambridge hasn’t been blessed with a gig like this in a while. There is a huge demand for hip hop artists coming to the city and so it is nice to see The Junction venturing out and booking more acts like this.

Bilk bang out another belter with ‘Spiked’

With the support of Lauren Laverne and 6 music recommends, Bilk’s stunning debut track ‘Give Up’ has racked up a fair few streams on the likes of SoundCloud and Spotify. Hailing from Essex, the trio combine lyrics full of truthful teenage tendencies with bulky basslines and contagious guitar riffs.

Likening Bilk’s sound to early Arctic Monkeys and Jamie T would seem a very credible comparison, their DIY and working class ethos is not dissimilar and makes their lyrics easily chantable for someone my age. Being ‘bilked’ is Essex slang for when someone ducks from a cabbie without paying the fare for their journey. Although where they are from has influenced their name, in a separate interview, they have claimed the music scene in Essex is, for the large part, ‘proper dead’. However you have to say that if Bilk carry on the way they are then success should be imminent, catapulting themselves up festival bills and propelling them onto headline tours all over the country.

Give ‘Spiked’ a listen, it will be in your head for the rest of the week, if not the rest of the month. Or maybe even until they release another single for you to get infatuated with.

Songs of the month – March 2018

1. Slowthai – North Nights

Pinning down Slowthai’s unique Northampton flow is difficult, with the 23 year old mixing constantly between double-time and half speed rhymes with unquestionable fluidity. ‘North Nights’ blends early 80s New York rap with the grittiness of pre-modern pirate radio grime. The rapper has hoped for a ‘scorcher’ this year and with singles like this one, I feel this is simply an inevitability.

2. CZARFACE and MF DOOM – Phantoms

I could have chosen any song from this album to be in my favourites of the month. Released only a couple of days ago, I nearly overlooked the project despite the all star line up of one of the most underrated rap collectives and arguably the most important rapper of all time: MF DOOM. Phantoms combines an uncharacteristic futuristic beat with distorted female vocals and the mouth watering flows of some of America’s best rap exports. Definitely one to carry you into April.

3. Goat Girl – Throw Me A Bone

In recent years Brixton has been known for its services to the London grime scene and being the home of multi-talented electronic producer Jamie XX. However, signed to Rough Trade records, Goat Girl are a 4 piece indie rock outlet bucking the trend and proving there is a much broader music scene in the area than many may think. Transporting you into a medieval universe, ‘Throw Me A Bone’ exemplifies why their is so much hype for the quartet’s debut LP and combines howling vocals with sinister bass lines and guitar progressions. Listen to a track by one of the UK’s current most unique outlets.

4. Jon Hopkins – Emerald Rush

As my A Level exams are looming near, I have been looking for songs that are a little calmer and easier to listen to. This track is perfect, it’s extraterrestrial nature makes it intriguing, whilst taking you to a new world that I have frankly found easier to revise in. Tom Ravenscroft has been viciously spinning the track on his late night 6 music show recently, which means it can only equate to greatness.

5. Cabbage –¬†Postmodernist Caligula

The politically driven Fat White Family enthusiasts made some unbelievable singles¬† the leading up to their debut album and, as of Friday, we have been able to hear the project in full. In my opinion this is the best track off of the cut, a gut punching anthemic chorus crawls over the band’s distorted undertows. I have pure admiration for the sheer chaos Cabbage have caused for the indie scene over the past year. In an era of indie uncertainty, Cabbage have and will continue to stamp their sound on the face of the independent music industry.

6. Chris Lorenzo –¬† Don’t Stop

Lorenzo has been making waves with his night bass mink for a long while now. Tampering with the housy tones on his debut album ‘Destroy The Image’, the Birmingham artist has managed to create one of the best basshouse/line sounds the world has witnessed. Subtlety filthy, ‘Don’t Stop’ is a collaboration with Taiki Nulight, an equally interesting electronic prospect who will be accompanying Lorenzo at Boomtown for what will become the legendary Night Bass takeover of the famous Bangai Towers. This song will get a lot of play on the festival circuit this summer so be sure to check it out beforehand.