London Native Loyle Carner visits Leicester on the ‘Hugo’ Tour
Written by Zeeta Muigai
On Friday 3rd March, Leicester saw South London’s very own Loyle Carner perform at De Montfort Hall as part of the hugo tour, celebrating the release of his highly personal and emotional third album.
The concert was supported by up-and-coming London based producer/artist, Wesley Joseph – who performed songs from his most recent project, GLOW, such as the dark and sultry ‘Cold Summer’ or ‘Thrilla’ from the ULTRAMARINE album. Whilst his set could have been longer, his stage presence allowed for the audience to be engrossed into his unique style, with no two songs reminiscent of each other. He is certainly one to follow.
Later on in the night, 2023 BRIT nominee and main act, Loyle Carner, brought heat to the stage – opening with ‘Hate’, a cloudy rap song accompanied by a mellow orange backstage light which he seemingly emerged from. The sight was captivating and it allowed for the crowd to truly digest his words and warm up for the rest of the night.
An audience member threw Carner a Guyanese flag, which perfectly accompanied the next song ‘Georgetown’ – a song which discusses racial identity and the complex theme of belonging as a Black and Mixed Heritage man. The song is heavily inspired by the poem Half-Caste of fellow Guyanese poet and playwright, John Agard, and the problematic usage of this term.
As Carner took a brief break to discuss his new fatherhood, the song ‘Polyfilla’ came up next, which discussed his complicated perception of fatherhood from the perspective of himself as a son, as well as a father. He explained the eponymous nature of the album, after his father’s numberplate and the humorous story of how he learned to drive.
‘Blood on my Nikes’ was arguably the most heartfelt song on the setlist, with a segment from Youth MP, Athian Akeck, of Camden, who introduces the difficult conversation into the reality of knife crime and being Black in London, urging for changes to be made to improve the safety and prospects of his peers. It would have been nice to hear Wesley Joseph perform his section of the song live, as the audience thoroughly enjoyed his support set prior to the main act.
Despite the vast venue size, Carner’s performance often felt intimate and – at times – sentient, as the audience were able to listen to and understand the conflict he often faces within himself, expressed eloquently within his rhymes.
You Don’t Know
Let It Go
Speed of Plight
Blood On My Nikes
Ain’t Nothing Changed
Nobody Knows (Ladas Road)
Zeeta Muigai is a first-year Politics and International student from Reading. Her interests include anything music or sitcom related, with a soft spot for Brooklyn 99. Find her on Twitter @Zeeta67441235
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