Azealia Banks played the Concorde 2 Brighton on Wednesday 10 October to a packed house on a cool night.
Hyped up to more than the max by the acutely agile ZEBRA KATZ , and sexy siren Njena Reddd Foxxx, the show was aways destined to be a blazing success. Zebra Katz is the ultra-original creation of 25 year old New York multidisciplinary artist Ojay Morgan. And Njena Jarvis is yummy REDDDFOXXX. Together, they bumped, entwined and they bounced. They created quite a jolt.
Then Azealia’s panther-partner DJ Cosmo, a world class spinner superstar in his own right, played a sensational 30 minute warm up set to out-shine the setting sun over the West Pier, and to gladden the heart of any mortal soul. Full of vibrations of vintage pungency. Hot and sticky.
So by the time Azealia took the stage things were, so to speak, well oiled.
Banks has recently been in the music press. Her new single ‘Esta Noche’ was pulled after the Rotterdam-based producer Munchi publicly claimed that she did not have permission to use the track. There was also a rumour circulating around that she had refused to tour with Nicki Minaj. So how hot is this girl? Well, warm enough to sell the hell out of these dates anyway. ( The UK Fantasea tour 2012 sold out super-quick.)
Coming out on stage in Brighton in a shining blue laser bright light-up bra, and matching bracelets, Azealia, aged 20, the swearing lyricist from Harlem, seemed to be a sort of super-sexed marvel-comic anti-hero creation. An Eartha Kitt for our times. Slinking on stage, it seemed blatantly obvious that she is self-confident, in complete control, and she is cruelly efficient .
From ‘212 ‘to’ Licorice she has transformed herself from a potty-mouthed, speccy teen brat with a piggy-tail problem, into an attractive ultra-vixen violator out to win. This is in little more than a year. (212 was released in September 2011.) Azealia has proved to the world that she is a steely trader, ingenious songwriter, a diamond cut business-woman and a shrewdly ambitious operator.
Highlights of the show at Brighton were, for me, ‘212’ and ‘1991’. But she also gave us two shots of juice from her succulent Fantasea mix-tape, ‘Jumanji’ and ‘Aquababe’.
Sweet, sexy and literate she may be. And her motor-mouth speed of tongue is astonishing. My only comment, though, was that I thought that the strength of her singing voice (on the night) wasn’t outstanding enough to burnish the darker side of those drum and bass beats.
But AB is the real thing. She’s not too good for the hood. But she’s better than all the hypocrites out there. She just comes right at you … Nodding grinning and growling. And you had better stand back if you can’t stand the intensity.
The short set was wonderful, immediate and brilliant. And who would not want more of that?
– © Neil_Mach October 2012 –