On the back of a triumphant 2010, when he released the rather good Won’t Go Quietly album and the tremendous career-high single ‘Kickstarts’, Example takes his distinctly “saff Lahndahn” rap-pop to The Academy, and The Kids – sick of being bossed about by The Man (i.e. teachers, parents) and too young to smash The System (i.e. school) by voting – are out in abundance. Siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiick! Some of them have (perhaps ill-advisedly) had a tipple before arriving at the show.
Opening, appropriately enough, with ‘Last Ones Standing’, Example leads the crowd in what will become the regulation dance of the evening; uncoordinated leaping – a limbs-a-flailing, head-banging, legs akimbo pogo that sends beer and cola into the air and the security staff into the crowd to fish out overzealous revellers. Then ‘Dirty Face’ comes on and the crowd really goes bat-shit mental. Even from our timid vantage point at the edge of the crowd, State is starting to dread Example’s use of the dreaded command: “BOUNCE!” Everytime he shouts it – and he shouts it frequently – we fear that some surly youth who has overdone it on the old fizzy energy drinks will connect roundly and knock us into the middle of next week.
You can see why people (not just young ‘uns) love Example. He’s got lots of sweet, touching lyrical sentiments which tap into the same angst-ridden diarist mindset which was explored so sensitively by Example’s old producer and mentor Mike Skinner, soon to be “formerly of The Streets”. A new song goes “If we don’t kill ourselves, we’ll end up leaders of a messed up generation.” If The Kids don’t kill themselves tonight, or do themselves some other unfortunate mischief by BOUNCING like Tiggers with jump-leads connected to their balls, they will find themselves involved in some kind of mess alright but I think they like it that way – judging by the grins on their faces as Example encores with ‘Watch The Sun Come Up’ and the venue’s lights are raised.
Photos: Abe Tarrush
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