Review: Alborosie @ Electric Brixton

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From the moment you stepped into Brixton Electric you could feel the atmosphere, and it did exactly what it said on the tin, it was electric.

Alborosie commands a strong following and his fans were out in force on Thursday. You could tell that the audience had traveled far and wide to come and see his London debut and true to form, he didn’t disappoint.

As we waited for Alborosie to appear on stage our anticipation built, I wasn’t surprised to hear many an Italian in excited conversation and when he burst on stage the crowd went wild.

The set kicked off with some of his retro tunes and you couldn’t help feeling what an excellent showman he is. He connected with the audience instantly and they reciprocated his love back to him. He spoke of how when he walked through Brixton he felt at home, as if he was in Jamaica, and payed his respect to the UK reggae scene which drew loud applause from the floor.

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The band played impeccably – exactly how Alborosie’s melodies should be played. They were able to hit the sweet spot and also those melancholy notes which gave the set depth and versatility. The backing singers harmonized well with Alborosie’s vocal range and it was a pleasant surprise when one of them, who also played guitar came to the front of the stage to sing. He looked to be a young Italian as you could still hear a faint accent through his emerging Jamaican lilt and he when he picked up the mic I didn’t really know what to expect. As he started to sing he ignited cheers from the crowd and his solo was a success. I couldn’t help feeling maybe he was Alborosie’s prodigy as he looked on and smiled, he looked proud.

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The best was saved till last. Just before the end something I wasn’t expecting happened; the original Sicilian reggae star dropped an opera solo. Oh my. What and awesome experience, I would never have thought two juxtaposed genre’s like opera and reggae would mix so beautifully. Alborosie has a big vocal range that you can hear through his reggae music but when he sang opera in Italian a capella, it was extremely special, unique and I won’t forget it.

The show was topped off after an encore with my personal favourite, Police Polizia. The audience was off the hook. The whole way through the gig the whole of the venue had been singing back the lyrics but this last classic was a blinder. My highlight? When he picked up his dreadlock and used it a both a gun and guitar.

It’s not often I can say I go to see an artist I’ve grown up with and say I wasn’t disappointed with the set. But Alborosie did not disappoint, he exceeded my expectations. I can only hope he comes back to London soon. Brixton was proud to have him visit.