Friday, February 26, 2010

Jay Electronica At London's Jazz Cafe Concert Review

via Music Like Dirt

(Thursday, February 18) Looking dapper in an immaculately tailored suit, like Louis Farrakhan guesting on Mad Men, Electronica is witty, engaging and utterly at ease on stage. Early in the gig he jokingly asked if we’d mind if he had a Jack Daniels to ease his nerves. Pouring himself one he asked if anyone else wanted a glass to which an American on the balcony yelled down “Yes, Up here”. Later he admonishes him for asking for more, calling him a “rude American” while pouring him another anyway. After running out of glasses a girl at the side of the stage requests a swig to which Jay goes to enquire if she’s got cooties… before saying what the hell I’ll just catch whatever you’ve got.

All very amusing… until midway through he set Jay abruptly stops and staring straight at my head poking up above the throng declares “this guy here is the only person still making me nervous“. To general chuckles he wanders over and enquires my name, “Leon!!”…oh Neil he says when corrected.
“Neil, Why are you making me nervous?” he gently demanded. At which point Id love to say I came back with a witty retort, but no I just stood and let my cheeks cycle through a variety of purple tinged shades. “Are you here with your girl?” came the next question… “no“… “then why are you making me nervous…if it isn’t because you think Im going to steal your girl!?” Clearly by now he’d taken pity on me and in his best Dick Van Dyke accent declared “Im only joking… what a handsome bloke!“… clarifying as he walked away “but not in a gay way!“. And who says Americans don’t do sarcasm!

One of his numerous unreleased tracks “Dear Moleskine” got the evening started. Its typical of Jay’s leftfield nature that the track first leaked as part of a trailer for a supposed feature length film featuring Electronica exploring the globe talking to characters like Monks at the Bodinath Buddhist Temple in Kathmandu. Unreleased or not, the crowd knew every word, mouthing each one along with Jay.

Overall he performed surprisingly little of his own material, he rapped some Nas and early in the evening a heartfelt tribute to J Dilla.
Asking the crowd to imagine Dilla in hospital wired up to machines with doctors telling him by rights he should be already be dead. Such was Dilla’s love of working on his music, Jay said, that instead of feeling self pity he asked for his MPC to be hooked up by his bedside.
With the “Waves” beat playing he asked everyone to take out a lighter/mobile anything that shines and hold it up in respect of Dilla. For a minute or two he just zoned out as it played telling us to feel this beat is being communicated to you from his death bed. It might have been moving but unfortunately an argument was breaking out next to me between some girls up the front and a very young inebriated young black boy cruelly trapped in the body of a white boy from Surrey. They reasonably objected to his constant “brapping” and gesticulating with his hand onto their heads.

Read the full concert review here:
Music Like Dirt - Jay Electronica @ The Jazz Cafe

More fan shot footage below.

(video courtesy of thenowschool

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