Six years after his fourth album, Method to the Maadness was released in 2010, one of Grime’s pioneering figures and top Mc’s is back. With a new album, one which was nominated for the Mercury Music Award 2016 alongside his fellow Grime God, Skepta who took the prize home.Made In The Manor entered the UK Album Charts at Number 8, Kano’s highest-charting album to date, and it played host to a UK tour which stopped off in Birmingham.
Supported by 22-year-old Lil Simz, who in her own right is earning a name for herself with sharp rhyme schemes, undeniable energy and a whole host of projects, Birmingham’s o2 Institute was a sell-out. Lil Simz pranced around the stage during her set lasting no longer than 8 tracks. Opening with her recent Wings, then flying through the rest of the set, hyping the spectators for the arrival of Kano, later fading with quite a wait between the two.
Inconsistent with your general norms of a grime gig, Kano was joined on stage with a live band, and occasionally a trombonist also, bringing out the life, soul and bounce off his track This Is England, infusing an electric energy in the crowd which transpired into some pretty aggressive moshing.
Wheeling up the banger Ps & Qs off the 2005 Home Sweet Home album relatively early on in the set was exceeded all expectations for the energy this performance would see, especially given the amount of exertion present at his Brixton date a couple days prior.
Sticking a middle finger up at the barricades to acceptance was a feeling present throughout, yet with his nonchalance aura, Kano skipped through the New Banger that’s rose up as a symbol of rebellion and the rise of grime over a year ago in the build up to Made In the Manor. Experiencing this with a live band made it a little bit more special.
Closing the show with “3 wheels ups” and GarageSkank, Kano’s performance was truly a testament to the current success of the culture he rose from. It also sets the bar, however, for the new Kings of Grime.