Loyle Carner shows he’s the real deal at intimate sideshow
Over the past few years, what is now the Woolly Mammoth Mane Stage has seen a whole hoard of ownership changes and a massive array of performances under these various umbrellas. I never really thought of the venue as the crème de la crème of Brisbane, but LOYLE CARNER’s performance on Wednesday night has more than swayed my opinion.
English rapper Loyle Carner (aka Benjamin Coyle-Larner) kicked off the first leg of his Australian tour at the Woolly Mammoth in Brisbane on Wednesday (3rd May). The 22-year-old prodigy, in the country for Groovin’ The Moo and a string of sideshows, has been active on the music scene in the UK since 2012 and has even supported hip-hop heavyweights such as MF Doom and Nas. However, this was the very first first time he graced our shores.
This Australian tour follows on from the January release of his debut album, Yesterday’s Gone. The album itself was very well received, flaunting all of his strengths with meaningful, poetic lyrics, exceptional rhythmic flow and stunning musical variety across its 15 tracks.
Given the high calibre of his previous performances and music releases, Loyle Carner set the bar incredibly high for himself for his Aussie debut, and boy did he deliver.
Opening the show was Melbourne-based Ryland Rose, whose 2016 single ‘Almost Famous & Broke’ reached the Top Five in both the Billboard Viral Charts and Spotify’s Global Viral Charts.
Ryland delivers complex, crisp lyrics and slick production which tie in pretty awesomely with the official video that was made purely using SnapChat. Bringing the same energy to the stage on Wednesday, Ryland Rose set a jovial vibe in Woolly Mammoth and wonderfully juxtaposed Carner’s somewhat more serious themes in anticipation for his set.
Loyle Carner opened his performance with his enchanting melodic single ‘The Isle Of Arran’, which begins with a stunning gospel choir (not featured on tour) and motions a small sight into the rapper’s private world.
The rapper’s style is an embedment of East Coast hip-hop and jazz-infused depictions of South London, graciously washed over with soulful serenades and poppy hooks. An organic bedrock of honest and raw sentimentality entwines through his compositions, which are even more prominent in his live performance and brought a deeper radiance to his work.
Friend, producer and beat maker of the project Rebel Kleff also took the the stage with Carner to engage with a freestyle rap duet, further adding to the musical diversity and talent of the already bursting-at-the-seams show.
Loyle Carner’s music is heavily influenced by his life experiences as well as relationships with his family: Carner’s stepfather had played a huge role in his upbringing and his passing deeply affected him. This sentiment was carried to the stage through Carner’s expressions of dedication and undying love for those around him, which entirely heightened the intimacy and raw power of the performance.
A roaring demand for an encore did not fall on deaf ears; although Loyle Carner did not have the capacity to perform any additional songs, he instead invited the audience for an intimate meet and greet after the show and displayed true respect for his equally adoring fans.
Rest assured, Loyle Carner won’t be playing such intimate venues for long! With a massive year of international touring ahead, this kid is on the rise and is bound to be filling larger spaces next time round.
You can catch Loyle Carner at all legs of Groovin’ The Moo, as well as at his remaining sideshows in Sydney [SOLD OUT] and Perth. Tickets can be purchased here through his website, and full remaining show dates can be seen below:
Sat 6 May – Groovin’ the Moo – Bendigo
Sun 7 May – Groovin’ the Moo – Canberra
Mon 8 May – Oxford Arts Factory – Sydney
Wed 10 May – Rosemount Hotel – Perth
Fri 13 May – Groovin’ the Moo – Perth
Words by FREYA DINESEN
Image by Jess Gleeson