Dizzee Rascal (with live video)

BBC Electric Proms 2009 review with video

published: Thu 22nd Oct 2009

Dizzee Rascal video

Tuesday 20th to Saturday 24th October 2009
The Roundhouse, and various venues in London , England
various from free to £25
last updated: Wed 23rd Sep 2009

After a summer of festival triumphs, number 1 singles and an album that blows the roof off nightclubs up and down the country, Dizzee Rascal is now considered very much a part of the mainstream.

Dizzee Rascal video
So much so that the BBC are willing to chance the artist as one of their headliners for the prestigious BBC Electric Proms. Any chances of nerves on show though were soon quashed by the man himself. Taking to the stage, it's clear that Dizzee is in a confident mood. The raw power of opener, 'Jus A Rascal' takes the wind out of the you, featuring a 9 piece band (including 3 backing singers), a full string section and choir With people on stage as far as the eye can see, they're all ensuring that the night starts with a bang, and that it does just that! The sheer noise and ferociousness of the army of musicians is enough to question whether the beautifully restored, but nevertheless, listed building that is the Roundhouse in Camden, can take such a battering. Well it seems that it can – more than that in fact, the venue seems to complement the show in an unexpected but perfect way.

The first song is elatedly received by an adoring crowd, clearly here to enjoy every minute and the excitement at the front sees the crowd jumping as if they were watching a rock n' roll band as opposed to a hip hop artist. The set continues with new songs 'Road Rage' and 'Can't Tek No More', which are warmly received by the crowd, but it is more familiar songs, 'Jezebel', 'Stand Up Tall' – with Nirvana's 'Teen Spirit' as backing music, and 'Dance Wiv Me' that really raise the venues roof. The 'Teen Spirit' input is a touch of genius that sees what was a quite average song turned into an edgy track over the top of a much loved classic. This clearly wouldn't work as a single, but as a live track, it can’t fail.

Enjoying all of this is an extremely eclectic crowd tonight. People of all ages, race and gender unite, each enjoying a different part of his varied career. Seeing a 40/50 something in a suit, clearly straight from work singing the lyrics "blood don't make me get old skool" is slightly bizarre. However, it doesn't actually seem that out of place. Everyone seems to be here to have fun and Dizzee recognises that when he mirrors the crowds' reactions between songs. The interaction with the crowd is short but it's clear he's having the time of his life.

It seems a long time ago when the young grime star from the tough streets of Bow in East London won the Mercury Music Prize with a raw album full of passion. That 19 year old is now in his mid twenties and is fast approaching becoming somewhat of a modern day pop icon. The confidence to genre hop in covering Rage Against the Machine's 'Bulls On Parade' and really pull it off is very impressive and add that alongside recent hit 'Bonkers', you have a set list full of twists and turns and it makes for great viewing. He finishes with 'Imagine' and re- enters the stage for a single song encore of 'Fix Up, Look Sharp', fittingly the single that provided him with the step he needed to get into the public eye.

Tonight shows that Dizzee Rascal can cope and even excel in the limelight. The last year for him has been huge in terms of commercial and, to some extent, critical success, but he's clearly revelling in that. Opinions have often been split when it comes to Dizzee but love him or hate him, one thing is for sure, the little Rascal is now a superstar.

You can check out Dizzee Rascal performing at BBC Electric Proms 2009 - just play the video below!


Set list:
1.Jus' a
2.Live,Large & In Charge
3.Road Rage
4.Can't Tek No More
5.Jezebel
6.Dirtee Cash
7.Stand Up Tall (Teen Spirit)
8.Chillin With Da Man Dem
9.Old Skool
10.Dance Wiv Me
11.Leisure
12.Bonkers
13.Brand New Day
14.Holiday
15.Bulls On Parade
16.Dream
17.Imagine
18.Fix Up Look Sharp

review by: Joe Mercer

Tuesday 20th to Saturday 24th October 2009
The Roundhouse, and various venues in London , England
various from free to £25
last updated: Wed 23rd Sep 2009


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