Sunday, 11 November 2012

Lord Finesse Norwich Gig - Review

The Lord Finesse show last Thursday in Norwich was just what a hip hop gig should be.

Beginning in the city's first-choice shop for dope sneakers, Main Source, was an in-store preview evening for the re-launched Patrick Ewing kicks - sadly not for me, they're like feckin' moon boots. As the city's b-boys congregated to the sounds of Sure D and Just-1 on vinyl duties we awaited the presence of Finesse's dj. Boogie Blind arrived sometime after 8pm, plugged in his Serato and laptop and got busy on the decks. Sadly the touted in-store of The Man himself failed to materialise.

Now this is someone who has been going since before (sadly) over half the audience on the night were even born. The majority of the ticket-holders were students or at least that age group while the real old heads were sadly a small bunch.
Nonetheless, as Finesse said a few times throughout the gig that he would perform better on the energy that the crowd were giving him as it would give him something to feed off. This luckily was in abundance and the man rocked.

DJ Mike Smooth no longer being a part of the Lord Finesse camp was replaced by DJ Boogie Blind of The X-Ecutioners who acted as half-DJ, half-hype-man keeping the crowd amped.
Finesse hit the stage with no flim-flam or smug entrance and kept it all rather courteous checking out what the crowd was willing to give him, no doubt.

The night consisted of 2-hours of the the finest The Bronx could give us with top Golden Age selection after selection making me think of a few cuts that I'd not heard for a while. The only break Finesse had - of sorts - was when he let his man Boogie Blind aka The Rubber Band Man aka All My Money's On Him go to work on the turntables.
Well, he let him do his thing for 3 or 4 minutes then Finesse and BB got down to some serious double-team action. The Lord works in mysterious ways and proceeded to exemplify a real showman at work by demonstrating his skills on the 1's and 2's. Eric B, he ain't.

At one stage there was a history lesson on where Big L fitted into Finesse's career and he told us the anecdote of how L got a third party to tell him how dope he was which led to a proposal of L spitting lyrics in front of him in a record store making Finesse more or less sign him on the spot.
This was all interspersed with Big L's demo's booming out over the club system rather spookily and made you wish for a different outcome to what befell this extraordinary wordsmith.

A couple of strange moments at the Norwich gig aside - drunk student attempting to crash the stage and a supposedly dope MC pulled onto the stage to help Finesse out who was embarrassingly nothing near what his mates believed him to be - this was quite possibly one of the best gigs Norwich had ever seen of someone of this calibre. This is the founding member of the DITC crew who, as Finesse said during his performance were equalled only in terms of production in the 1990's to Wu Tang. Who could forget how deep and masterful the Diggin' In The Crates posse rolled: Finesse, Showbiz & AG, Diamond D, Buckwild, Big L.....

This was 90's hip hop at it's best. And with Finesse meeting and greeting anyone who wished to straight after the show, he showed he was someone who respects not only hip hop but his fans, too.

DJ Boogie Blind with Norwich's ageing B-Boy crew

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