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Review: Wretch 32/Bugsy Malone @ 02 Newcastle

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Bugsy Malone performing at 02 Academy Newcastle

What do you get when you combine Manchester’s most talented export since David Beckham mixed with London’s kingpin emcee in the heart of Newcastle…a swagnificent grade A certified top night! Do I need to say more?

To bring more clarity to the occasion, the artists in question, Bugsy Malone & Wretch 32, truly epitomise the current state of UK grime music…energetic, enthusiastic and definitely going places.

Supporting the monster two headline acts for the night was none other than MTV’s Ex on the Beach star Mr Ashley Cain who kept the crowd bouncing higher than a rubber coated tennis ball on a bouncy castle as we eagerly awaited England’s answer to Kendrick & Kanye…if you don’t know now you know!

Since trading lyrical blows with Chipmunk, Bugsy Malone career has gone on from strength to strength, which has not only seen him bag the Best Newcomer accolade at the GRM Daily Rated awards ceremony but also receiving two MOBO nominations for Best Newcomer and Best Grime Act to top off an extremely successful 2015.

Not to be mistaken by the actor’s namesake, the 25-year-old Mancunian quite simply owned the stage from the get-go reeling off a series of hits from his first EP Walk With Me, which peaked at number 2 on the iTunes chart and number 8 in the official album chart.

The 0161 representative interacted with the audience like a seasoned professional orchestrating a large pool of over zealous ravers within a packed 02 Academy crowd to shrewdly promote his latest release Moshpit gang before departing the ‘scene of the grime’ to welcoming applause and admiration from his loyal fanbase.

Thankfully Wretch 32 didn’t keep us waiting for too long, and although he had a tough act to follow, he kept the torch burning until the final curtain call. His awesome body of work replicates musical milestones and achievements, and while exercising his lyrical ability on stage, his barrage of bangers performed in front of my eyes was a true sight to behold.

The Tottenham raised wordsmith rolled back the years performing records that he’s featured on including Don’t Waste My Time and Unorthodox, among showcasing snippets of his latest material alongside special guest Avelino and even hand delivering his DJ some home made birthday cake to mark his brother in music’s annual special occasion.

My only critique is that he could have at least warned myself and several other front-row spectators of his unrequested shower session during 6 Words drum & bass inspired chorus, which helped me conclude his performance with my own short sentence… Thank you very much Wretch 3, I just hope it was water in those bottles!

All in all, the whole night was more turned up than Lil Jon on happy pills, and hats need to be permanently removed and tipped in honour to the overall management and staff who put this shindig together…

This night get a mahoosive thumbs up and a polite request towards North East based event organisers for more of the same in the not so distant future please kind ladies and gentleman!

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