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  • Writer's pictureMatt Sharp


On Friday night, Oslo Hackney came to life with a performance-to-remember from mustbejohn.

Known for his relatable lyricism over big dance instrumentals, mustbejohn has steadily been cementing his name in UK music. After releasing his project ‘Losing Balance’ towards the end of last year, he embarked on a tour of the same name to take his talents nationwide.

Last Friday, mustbejohn set his sights on the capital for an evening of big-hits and lively tunes. At the end of a long week, the young artist gave the audience a respite from day-to-day life by packing out this wonderful venue and giving it his all.

The night began with support act INDI offering an excellent selection of DnB bops to get the crowds excited. Following this, south-London native Danny Sanchez stepped on stage and delivered a brilliant set. He showed his talents with sharp verses and soulful vocals, priming the room for the headline act.

mustbejohn took to the stage and immediately won the crowd with his undeniable stage presence. He began with some of the more mellow tracks from his discography, such as ‘Just a Glimpse’, and ‘Thinking About It’, showcasing his artistic range. As the set progressed, he dived into fan favourites ‘Lucy’ and ‘Buzz’, with the crowd in the full swing of enjoyment.

Then, in an unexpected twist, he let his DJ take the wheel and offer up a few hall-of-fame dance tracks, including ‘Gypsy Woman (She’s Homeless)’. A sure-fire way to get the room singing and dancing, as the set entered its latter stages.

The energy continued to build up to the penultimate track of the night, (or so we thought...) which was the Higgo collaboration ‘I Just Wanna Dance’. As you can imagine, this is a brilliant track for a live setting, with the crowd practically bouncing off the walls at this point.

Following that, it was time for the song that began it all for John, the massively loved, ‘Jenny’s House’. The audience belted out the chorus with a passion, as it became clear how this song meant so much to so many people. Released back in 2019, this larger-than-life anthem reverberated around the venue, leaving its mark as a highlight of a very special night.

But things weren’t done yet. An encore was an inevitability with the hype generated so far. So, it was time to give a second moment to mustbejohn’s latest release, the gargantuan banger, ‘Motive’, featuring Tentendo. John had previously explained the heartfelt story that led to the song’s creation, involving the passing of a friend of the artist. After this, the already exquisite track resonated even more with everyone present.

With the room nearly bursting at the seams, a rare second encore was necessary. As a result, the night was finally completed with the belting lyrics, “I used to know a girl she was called Lucy, used to view the world oh so loosely”. This being my personal favourite from mustbejohn’s discography, I was delighted it got another moment.

Lively Londoner’s made their way from the venue, into a night nearing its completion, or perhaps a night just getting started. Either way, they undoubtedly felt elated at the performance they had seen. mustbejohn exhibited fantastic stage presence and crowd interaction, with a discography filled to the brim with songs that come to life when played live. I can wholeheartedly recommend a mustbejohn show, the vibes are pure and the energy is high. A night well spent in Hackney.



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