As Rescue Rooms opened its doors for Loyle Carner’s headline show on Tuesday, Brixton based Elisa Imperilee & Srigala proved the perfect warm up, setting the tone for the rest of the evening.
The rich soulful tone of Elisa’s voice flirts with the listener as she craftily toys with the music effortlessly creating trills and key changes. Accompanying her is Srigala’s heavy bass and RnB beats amplifying a current sound common to numerous contemporary rappers. Heavily influenced by soul, jazz and hip-hop their tone suited Carner’s audience well. Considering Nottingham as a semi-home show since Elisa studied in the University the crowd showed only encouragement (unlike previous sexist audience members on the tour). Their humbleness was extremely apparent, allowing the crowd to warm to them with ease.
The duo are reminiscent of the incredible Erykah Badu as Elisa’s retro vocals are complimented with Srigala’s contemporary production and verses of rap. Their set featured numerous tracks from their current EP titled ‘1 o’Clock Club’ which is available for purchase and on most streaming services.
By Ceryn Morris
A sold-out Rescue Rooms was treated to a slice of the action from one of the hottest current talents in British hip-hop; Loyle Carner. Following his Mercury Award nominated debut album, Yesterday’s Gone, Loyle Carner has amassed a huge following of fans hanging off his open and emotive prose. Carner (a play on his real name Ben Coyle-Larner) comes to Nottingham nearing the end of his UK tour.
Coyle-Larner has the stage set like a family living room, epitomising his current rise to a household name, and amplifying the family-centred undertones to his album. He opens the set in spectacular fashion with ‘The Isle of Arran’, immediately throwing the audience gospel and old-school soul samples that underpin his eloquent flow on one of the albums more upbeat tracks. The seamless transition into the melodic ‘Mean It In The Morning’, the interlude ‘+44’ and ‘The Seamstress’ that follows displays his capacity for variation with just one albums material to play with.
Such an intimate venue lends itself well to Coyle-Larners style, relaying background stories to his songs and allowing deeper access into his inner thoughts than even his album can offer. Donning the current England strip and as Liverpool fan himself, Coyle-Larner even jibes an Arsenal fan for his questionable choice in football team. You may be a fan at his show, but you are treated like a mate.
The collaboration between Coyle-Larner and Tom Misch across ‘Yesterdays Gone’ bore perhaps the tastiest fruit of the album in the form of ‘Damselfly’. Despite the absence of Misch in Nottingham, the uplifting beats and jazzy guitar melodies of this number offered a chance for all to groove on the floor of Rescue Rooms. However it was his collaboration with Rebel Kleff that formed the nights pinnacle. After an energetic rendition of ‘No Worries’, Coyle-Larner once again demonstrated his performing versatility with a freestyle verse (much to the crowds delight) and gave a preview of his new material with Kleff in the form of ‘Gotham’.
A well-polished performance was rounded off with the upbeat crowd-pleasers ‘Aint Nothing Changed’ and ‘No CD’, coupled with a heartfelt rendition of ‘Sun of Jean’. His catharsis and lack of braggadocio have struck a chord with so many and his rise throughout 2017 has been unprecedented. With new releases just around the corner, these are exciting times for all involved with the South-London rapper. Yesterday may be gone, but tomorrow is all his.
By Thomas Verity
Photo Courtesy of Vicky Grout and ABP Music