Surreally, last month saw Drake gushing on his Instagram over old-school underground grime DVDs and the “#legend” that is Wiley. Meanwhile, Kanye West brought a huge contingent of UK grime artists on stage for two of his recent London performances; including the Brits. It seemed that innovatively boisterous, brash, bravado-filled genre — made most popular by artists like Dizzee Rascal and collective Boy Better Know — had gone a bit quiet in the past couple years, but recently it’s become apparent that grime is very much alive and well. Can this resurgence in global interest really be considered as a renaissance of the scene itself?
There is a palpable air of excitement in the Sugar Club. The seats are filling up, the drinks are flowing, and fairylights are glimmering around a stage laden with the instruments of much-lauded Wicklow trio, Wyvern Lingo.
Opening with the charming support of Loah (one of our Plec Picks of 2015), it is hard not to be blown away by the incredibly talented, always-smiling singer. Loah has a powerfully lilting, versatile voice, which is particularly remarkable when she sings in Sierra Leonean language Sherbro for the gorgeous ‘Cortège’.
“I’m just trying to impress my dad,” she grins, pointing him out in the audience. These are sweetly intricate, rhythmic art soul songs. “Imagine having to follow that,” remarks someone sitting near us, and they have a point – playing after such a beautiful set certainly seems to be a daunting task.
As soon as Wyvern Lingo take to the stage, however, it is apparent that there is nothing to worry about. There is a seamless confidence in the way they burst into their first song of the night – the title track from their EP, The Widow Knows. It is immediately clear how much the group have progressed since the release of that EP last year. Everything is fuller and more polished somehow, and it’s a delight to hear.