Live Review: KNEECAP, OneDa, Cooper T @ The Grove, Newcastle (27.11.23) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Kicking off a night of hip-hop are Manchester-based producer duo Cooper T who get the crowd moving with their self-proclaimed ‘Northern music for Northern people’ which fuses witty lyricism, with punk, soul and jungle influences. Rapper OneDa, also from Manchester, takes to the stage next with a drum ‘n’ bass, hip-hop fusion that doesn’t let her own stamina, or that of the crowd, slip.

Headline act Kneecap have been steadily growing a dedicated and passionate following since 2018. Fans of their music, which is brimming with satire and sincerity, debauchery and politics, now fill the room. The trio kick things off with 2023 single It’s Been Ages. The lyrics, as in all their tracks, seamlessly slips between English and Irish language. The accompanying electronic beats, their own universal vernacular, invigorates the crowd.

After an explosive start, Kneecap work through some of their old school hip-hop style songs like Fenian Cunts, following an introduction claiming “it’s the English government we hate, not English people”. Even these leisurely leaning tracks garner a spirited response from the crowd. Whispered repetition on the recorded version of the Your Sniffer Dogs Are Shite chorus, becomes a much livelier, guttural rendition in its live performance counterpart.
Performances of new track Better Way To Live, with a recorded feature from Fontaines D.C frontman Grian Chatten, and the unreleased, punchy Sick In The Head are well received. Evidently, Kneecap are raring to go with their upcoming 2024 album that has the potential to be their biggest release yet.

Slower paced tracks positioned earlier on in the set leave the crowd with just enough energy to go wild for the last 20 minutes. None-more-so than with set-closer Get Your Brits Out and the harder, bassier, indulgent H.O.O.D encore. Start to finish, Mo Chara, Móglaí Bap and DJ Próvaí take full ownership of the stage and unite the room into full party mode – no small feat for a rainy Monday night.

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