Katy B's mash up of rave & concert gets the crowd rockin' at Somerset House

Somerset House Series 2012 review

By Fiona Madden | Published: Wed 11th Jul 2012

Somerset House Series 2012

Saturday 7th to Tuesday 17th July 2012
Somerset House, The Strand, London, WC1 1LA, England MAP
from £22.50 to £35 per day depending on the event

One of the more urban nights of entertainment at the Somerset Series concerts was the evening of grime, garage, and dubstep headlined by Katy B. Having never been to Somerset House before I was pleasantly surprised on arrival at how intimate and casual the layout was.

Set in the pebbled courtyard, the stage could easily be viewed by all and the smallish venue meant that there was no trekking to get a drink or use the facilities.

The evening was really well organised with everyone keeping to their set times give or take a few minutes and the changeover between acts was swift.

Grime MC, P Money, took to the stage first and provided a short but sweet set, on point with his lyrical delivery and infused with some dubstep that got the crowd starting to move; the highlight of the set was the remix of Ed Sheeran's 'Lego House', which he ended on.

Ms Dynamite was up next as the rain started to pour down and the umbrellas made an appearance, however that did not dampen her mood and vitality; I am slightly biased on this one as I had seen her just 3 days earlier 'blow up' a tent at a festival, and even though we were at a different setting it was the same effect and reaction.

She cheekily spoke to the crowd throughout gently having a go when people were more occupied with covering themselves from the rain than interacting with her, and involved us by asking whether we would like to hear old or new stuff from her first. She did an energetic set of old and new hits bouncing across the stage and even the more sceptic older crowd couldn't help but jump along by the end.

Essex born MC Devlin carried the high spirited feel on by straight away communicating with the crowd when he came on and telling them to get hyped for headliner Katy B's set after his. His accompanying band and singer Olivia Leisk were just as lively and complimented Devlin's skilful flow beautifully.

As he played some of his well known hits 'Runaway' and 'Brainwashed' the fans in the crowd sang along with Olivia's harmonious vocals in the chorus, regardless of the soaking downpour, as Devlin encouraged the crowd between songs "Let's get the energy going for Katy. It's nearly time!"

The whole performance was professionally executed with Devlin displaying an even greater maturity and vitality compared to his performances in previous years; and the finale was his latest tune, a Bob Dylan cover, 'Watchtower' which features Ed Sheeran, which went down a storm with the audience even without the presence of the other singer.

As night fell Katy B burst on to the stage looking radiant under the stage lighting in a shiny gold playsuit and long flowing hair, telling the audience "This is my one and only headline show this year so I'm excited, and it's in my hometown London!"

She launched into some of the dancefloor movers from her debut album, which turned the courtyard into an outdoor rave almost immediately. She was really bubbly and at one point took a guy from the ground onstage and sexily danced around him on a stool whilst singing her tune, 'Easy Please Me'.

When she slowed things down and sang some of her slower known tracks as well as the less upbeat ones from her new album that she explained she had been locked away working on, it really showed just how incredible her voice is; in terms of technique and melody, it filled up the venue and had the fans whooping and cheering in adoration.

She also performed a song she had been approached to do for the Olympics, which she expressed her pride at being a part of, and although more poppy than her usual tunes, it had most of the crowd swaying their arms in union.

One of the highlights of the gig was when her and her DJ (DJ Shox) did a clash, where they both chose tunes to get the crowd raving and made them choose a winner at the end.

Overall, it was a really professional and fun show from the lasers and stage lighting that lit up the courtyard to the completely different elements that Katy brought to the table. The mash up of rave and concert really worked and made the event one that Katy B should be very proud of.
review by: Fiona Madden

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