REVIEW: Camp Lo Shutdown London

By Anton Constantinou - @Aberrantin

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Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen has quickly established a name for itself as a go –to spot for hip hop in London.

The multi-purpose Shoreditch venue is a regular host of hip hop karoke, and the hugely popular Doctors Orders events. By day it’s a restaurant; by night a veritable rap den where emcees the world over show out to drop bars and spit science.

Last Monday saw the appearance of Camp Lo- regarded by many as one funkiest duos in hip hop. Rising to fame in late 90’s with Uptown Saturday Night – a 70’s inspired album which fuses hip hop, soul, and jazz – group members Sonny Cheeba and Geechi Suede bought a new edge to the game, not seen since the earlier arrival of Tribe, De La Soul and The Digable Planets. In short, they put alternative rap back on the map.

Styling themselves on characters from a blaxploitation movie, Camp Lo went against the grain to show that hip hop can be silly and cool at the same time. Monday’s gig  certainly didn’t disappoint. In fact it was their second only  time performing in the UK.

The duo arrived suitably attired in flat caps and shades – Cheeba in tweed, Suede in jungle print. Performing under a blend of blue and red lighting, their set oozed cool and sophistication. Featured on the night was discography from their third and fourth albums, Lets Do It Again and Black Hollywood – including the deliciously smooth, Sky Box.  Dirty rotten scoundrel Jeru the Damaja even put in a surprise appearance.

But for us the stand out tracks on show were (surprise, surprise) off their debut lp. Luchini arguably their most well known song-  had the crowd in a state of ecstacy, throwing their hands in air to the roar of the horns (see below). And then came the cool down. Sparkle, with its undulating beat and  hook “Got the bubbly/ Pourin’ through me” provided the perfect end to an otherwise slick set.

For further details of upcoming nights at the venue, see: http://www.hoxtonsquarebar.com/



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