Master Shortie keeps the fans happy with a set that's lacking in substance

Relentless Boardmasters 2009 review

published: Thu 13th Aug 2009

around the festival site

Wednesday 5th to Sunday 9th August 2009
Watergate Bay, nr Newquay, Cornwall, TR8 4AN, England MAP
£54.99 adult ticket for both days, £14.99 per beach session
daily capacity: 12500
last updated: Wed 5th Aug 2009

Master Shortie, aka 20-year-old British rapper and former Brit School student Theo Kerlin, brings his populist rock-rap fusion to the Main Stage early on Friday afternoon.

around the festival site
Greeted with a pretty large crowd, the Londoner, dressed in a powder blue hoody and backed by a live band, is a tireless performer, marching back and forth across the stage, cajoling his audience and encouraging them to make 'big fish, little fish, cardboard box' dance shapes.

Posturing in a similar vein to Jay-Z, he leads his band through a quick rendition of Nirvana's 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' to the delight of a young crowd, many charged up on free energy drinks handed out by the sponsors, and declaring slightly confusingly 'I'm as white as I am black'.

Most of the set is taken from Shortie's new album ADHD. 'Dance Like A White Boy' pounds in on a menacing tom fill, with crunching guitars, the end result sounding somewhere between The Prodigy, Sway and N.E.R.D, but with disappointingly unchallenging middle-of-the-road lyrics.

'Dead End' touches on RnB and is fairly corny, with pretty mundane subject matter, Shortie rapping about a girl who can "cook much better than you, looks much better than you."

Things stray into rap-rock territory, sounding at times not a million miles from Lost Prophets or Linkin Park. Despite the abundant energy he throws at the performance, all too often the raps are lazy, focusing on girls and gold chains and that's a shame because Shortie has a gentle, soulful British urban voice and his flow is pretty decent.

It's enough to keep a sizeable band of teenagers happily bouncing away, but it's a set lacking much in the way of substance or thought-provoking content.

around the festival site
review by: Gary Walker

photos by: Steve Palmer

Wednesday 5th to Sunday 9th August 2009
Watergate Bay, nr Newquay, Cornwall, TR8 4AN, England MAP
£54.99 adult ticket for both days, £14.99 per beach session
daily capacity: 12500
last updated: Wed 5th Aug 2009


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