Finally, the moment everyone had been waiting for. At 10:15, the lights dimmed, the interval music stopped and the crowd began cheering hysterically. Before the anticipation became all too much to bear, Labrinth took to the stage in a heroic fashion. As he confidently greeted his audience, a sea of camera phones broke out to capture an everlasting memory of the 2012 Summer Party headliner in all his glory. To say Labrinth had received a warm welcome would be an enormous understatement.

What became clear very quickly, aside from his admirable ability to command the Summer Party like a puppet, was Labrinth’s raw talent as a young musician. It is relatively common knowledge that he started as a record producer before going on to feature in Tinie Tempah’s 2010 number one hit ‘Pass Out’. More than this, however, he proved his worth as a “Jack of all trades” by picking up the guitar three songs into his set and pulling an impressive solo out of the hat. His live performance was impeccable. In fact, if you closed your eyes for a second, you could almost be fooled into thinking you were listening to one of his tracks on your iPod…although somewhat louder, of course.

Labrinth’s effect on the audience cannot be understated. From throwing his coat into the waves of screaming fans, to regularly asking how all the “sexy ladies” were doing, his performance had a somewhat unpredictable element to it. The highlight was his attempt to fluster his female audience by grinding up and down his microphone stand. Sound clichéd? Maybe, but it worked, so much so, that a few girls in the front row appeared to be close to unconsciousness.

The only criticism to be made was that it would have been better for Labrinth to have opened his set with a better known song such as ‘Let the Sun Shine’ or ‘Pass Out’. It felt as if he was saving his best songs till last. Nonetheless, he got around to these towards the end of his performance and, unsurprisingly, they were received by endless rounds of waving arms and overwhelming excitement. His semi-acoustic version of ‘Frisky’ was just one more example of his unpredictability and creativity. That said, encore ‘Earthquake’ certainly stole the show, prompting the best reaction from the audience throughout his set, and throughout the whole Summer Party.

Sadly Labrinth had to leave almost immediately after his encore came to an end. Good authority has it that he was on his way to play a set at Nottingham Trent’s Graduation Ball. It’s probably a good thing he didn’t mention that. Regardless, he was still the Summer Party’s best act. Hopefully, Nottingham will see him return in the near future.

Josh Levy

*Impact expected to be interviewing Labrinth. Unfortunately, at the last minute the interview was cancelled.

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