Picture House, Edinburgh, Mon 15 Aug 2011
This article is from 2011.
As Mike Skinner’s sometime protégé it’s easy to pigeonhole London rapper Elliot Gleave as the new bearer of the crown soon to be abandoned by The Streets. Yet what he does is subtly different – where both men are outright crowd pleasers, Skinner’s playful introspection was here forsaken in favour of a party spirit which came straight from the 4am dancefloors of Ibiza. When Gleave dedicated ‘Sick Note’ to ‘all the people calling in sick tomorrow,’ the cheer that went up suggested there were plenty of people who intended to take that as permission.
Playing with a full band including two keyboard player/guitarists and a drummer, this is a show which reaches the stature Example has achieved as a recent number one artist, a proper big name pop star putting on a set worthy of a big hall. Every other song has been a hit or sounds like it’s waiting to chart, including the hard electro grind of ‘Sick Note’ itself, the club reggae of ‘See the Sea’ and ‘Two Lives’ cheery pop. He writes anthems of all sorts, from ‘Stay Awake’s tribute to ‘the messed-up generation’ to the boisterous ‘Hooligans’ and his biggest hit ‘Changed the Way You Kiss Me’, with a quality and energy to his performance that suggests there’s plenty more to come.