Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1084

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Kabaka Pyramid + Randy Valentine + Marla Brown: o2 Academy in Islington, London 22/6/17

Kabaka Pyramid: o2 Academy in Islington, London 22/6/17 @bluesandsoul.com
Kabaka Pyramid: o2 Academy in Islington, London 22/6/17 @bluesandsoul.com Randy Valentine: o2 Academy in Islington, London 22/6/17 @bluesandsoul.com Marla Brown: o2 Academy in Islington, London 22/6/17 @bluesandsoul.com Kabaka Pyramid: o2 Academy in Islington, London 22/6/17 @bluesandsoul.com Kabaka Pyramid: o2 Academy in Islington, London 22/6/17 @bluesandsoul.com Kabaka Pyramid: o2 Academy in Islington, London 22/6/17 @bluesandsoul.com Kabaka Pyramid: o2 Academy in Islington, London 22/6/17 @bluesandsoul.com Kabaka Pyramid: o2 Academy in Islington, London 22/6/17 @bluesandsoul.com Kabaka Pyramid: o2 Academy in Islington, London 22/6/17 @bluesandsoul.com Marla Brown: o2 Academy in Islington, London 22/6/17 @bluesandsoul.com Marla Brown: o2 Academy in Islington, London 22/6/17 @bluesandsoul.com Marla Brown: o2 Academy in Islington, London 22/6/17 @bluesandsoul.com Marla Brown: o2 Academy in Islington, London 22/6/17 @bluesandsoul.com Marla Brown: o2 Academy in Islington, London 22/6/17 @bluesandsoul.com Kabaka Pyramid: o2 Academy in Islington, London 22/6/17 @bluesandsoul.com Kabaka Pyramid: o2 Academy in Islington, London 22/6/17 @bluesandsoul.com Randy Valentine: o2 Academy in Islington, London 22/6/17 @bluesandsoul.com Randy Valentine: o2 Academy in Islington, London 22/6/17 @bluesandsoul.com Randy Valentine: o2 Academy in Islington, London 22/6/17 @bluesandsoul.com

If you haven't yet heard any Kabaka Pyramid music, you really should.
With Chronixx and Protoje among the reggae revival artists currently riding high, these are good times to be a reggae fan.

The Kingston artist was in the UK to promote his upcoming "Contraband" album, and a dedicated crowd packed into the o2 Academy in Islington to watch him perform.

His "Lead The Way" EP showed that he is an exciting emerging talent, and he delivered a show which demonstrated why he is one to watch.
Kabaka was supported by Marla Brown, daughter of the late, great reggae icon Dennis Brown.

She was in great voice in her short set, and was followed by second support Randy Valentine, definitely an artist to keep an eye on.

When he appeared looking dapper in a yellow blazer over red T-shirt and trousers he launched into a 90-minute set which left no doubt that he has a bright future ahead of him.

Kabaka performed "No Capitalist", "Liberal Oppressor" and "King Kabaka" from the EP.

Protoje collaboration "Warrior" was delivered with passion and had the audience dancing.

"Revolution of the Mind" was another highlight of the set, a feelgood track which nods to traditional roots reggae with a modern twist.

As well as being one of the brightest prospects on the reggae scene, Kabaka is a hip-hop fanatic and took a moment from his set to pay tribute to Mobb Deep legend Prodigy, who died two days earlier.

He freestyled over the beat to Dr Dre's "Still Dre" with the confidence and skill of a seasoned rapper.

Kabaka has previously worked with the Wu-Tang Clan's Raekwon, and his love of the genre could breed some exciting work in the future.

But he wasn't the only rapper on the stage - it turned out his guitarist, Shakair, can also deliver a verse, and the two produced a thrilling rap battle, Kabaka smiling throughout as the crowd applauded both.

The set finished with "Can't Breathe", Kabaka's latest single.

It is the freshest reggae track I've heard this year and should be essential listening this summer.

Based on this performance, he'll be playing at far bigger venues in the future and can hold his own alongside the more established reggae revival stars.
Words Dave Burke

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