Thursday night saw ‘Boothe Season’ in full swing, Star Lane had a buzz about it as loyal fans battled the tube strikes to see Kieron Boothe, headlining in East London with a selection of his most poignant and personal work; on display for his nearest and dearest who have watched his impressive ascent on the UK rap scene so far.
As the musicians warmed up their instruments, the crowd spilled in and gathered in the intimate space in front of the decks. Purple lighting flooded the space and the jam commenced as artists and fans mingled around the bar. On Kieron’s arrival, the audience chatted and connected with the host of open mic contesters, setting the stage to warm up the crowd with nostalgic beats and soulful melodies.
Cicero, Eklipse and Ellie Parris performed with finesse and swagger as each artist shared originals and a notable iconic classic, Cicero’s authentic rendition of Amy Winehouse’s ‘Take the Box’ nodding to the jazz influence that is infiltrating the UK’s hip hop spaces. Each performance from these supporting acts was individualistic and perspective, with catchy phrases and relatable lyricism that included the audience and established the hype that was forming around our anticipation for Boothe’s set.
Within a few minutes, the band was in place and Kieron Boothe was welcomed to the stage, beginning his performance with the explosive 2021 single ‘Sunday 2 Sunday’.
iPhone torches flashed as Kieron flowed effortlessly and assertively over the soothing saxophone, playing in countermelody with the rapper’s hook, “they be asking for an update, but I’ve been up late, Sunday to Sunday to get my funds straight’. This opening tune introduced the audience to Boothe’s working mantra, he continued to narrate his determination to succeed. Organically providing perspective for his audience in a fresh and innovative way.
Boothe’s performance and articulation drew from all aspects of alternative rap, using witty lyricism and flow to communicate his personal experiences with hustle culture, as a budding London-based musician and creator. His prowess alone was felt among us audience members, who were strung on every word. All eyes were on Mr Boothe, as each lyric cascaded over the mic with confidence and clarity, stating home-truths for this quirky community of pioneering young artists.
Keiron went on to present an array of his instant classics, delving deep into his discography with ‘Tea and my Zoot’ ‘Crush a bit’ and ‘1Way Out’ from his 2021 revolutionary project, The Stoned Age II. With short intervals between tracks, Kieron took to checking in with his audience, discussing his excitement and appreciation to be headlining his second show in what he coined ‘Boothe Season’, as well as his admiration for the fellow musicians, friends and family who made the distance and tackled the delays to travel to East London.
Jazz-infused tracks followed, Boothe’s most recent work, ‘Views from the Bottom’ encapsulates the niche space in between alternative rap and boom bap, that the East London rapper has been dominating over his 4 years of releasing music. Stand-out songs from his performance included the EP introduction, Boothe’s band accompanying the introspective rhymes with marvellous keys, sax and bass to lull the audience into the infectious two-step groove that the hip hop beat for ‘phone down’ and ‘no regrets’ exuded.
Riding on cloud 9 between grateful ‘thank yous’, and with a few quick sips of his Ginger Ale and Spiced Rum, Kieron invited special guests KeepVibesNear for the calm and collected delivery of ‘M25’ (a personal and crowd favourite) followed later by ‘Spark It’ with Harvey Whyte and ‘Sunday 2 Sunday’ as the encore to finish the set.
In Kieron’s words,
“feels right to start and end with Sunday 2 Sunday, it sets the work ethic mantra” connoting to his progression and dedication to his art which has made leaps and bounds, tearing up the UK Rap’s scope with fresh, authentic talent.”
Kieron and his supporting team hosted an intimate and electrifying evening, showcasing the level of talent and musicianship taking London’s alternative hip-hop sound to inventive and ground-breaking heights.