Picture this: it’s a quiet Saturday night in the heart of sleepy Cornwall. Birds are singing softly, flowers are swaying gently in the breeze, and there’s not a cloud in the sky. All is peaceful. You decide to sit down and enjoy a moment of peaceful solitude in the shadow of the Eden Project’s famed biomes.
Suddenly, you hear a roar. A shout. A flash of light. The ground begins to shake. You glance over your shoulder, and you’re shocked by what you see. Where you’d usually expect to see flowers, you see a stage, a small man wearing a baseball cap, a VERY expensive looking laser show, and a huge crowd of ravers. Normal, right? Well, it’s normal when Dizzee Rascal is in town.
Pop stars don’t come much more energetic than Dizzee Rascal. The multi-talented East London rapper/producer/songwriter stormed the Eden Sessions with a hit-packed set of modern pop standards, floorfillers and throwbacks to his origins as one of the founding fathers of the UK’s burgeoning Grime movement.
Dizzee’s grime roots are evident from the start of the set, with the bouncy Fix Up, Look Sharp and sharp Jus’ a Rascal providing a masterclass in spitting syllables at a ridiculous rate. However, it’s his more recent tracks that are the highlight of the night – the quick one-two of number one singles Dance wiv Me and Holiday mark a definite transition from the first half of the set’s grime focus to the ‘poppier’ sound of Dizzee’s more recent output, and it’s in this second half of the set that Dizzee really allows his talents to shine.
Every crowd loves a good singalong, and it’s clear that Dizzee Rascal knows how to write a chorus. The likes of I Don’t Need a Reason and Heart of a Warrior have the crowd screaming every word back at a clearly-delighted Dizzee, and he’s clearly lapping up the adulation that’s gifted to him by the sold-out crowd at the Eden Project. Eden, as a venue, is pretty much flawless – it’s naturally beautiful, with fantastic sound and a stellar lineup of acts to rival that of any major venue’s summer programme.
The fact that Dirtee Disco (a number one single, no less) can be entirely omitted from the set shows the strength of Dizzee’s back catalogue, and is a testament to his ability to continually craft perfect pop hits that it’s not even missed by the capacity crowd. The likes of Here 2 China and his Florence + The Machine collaboration (and chart-topper) You’ve Got The Dirtee Love show that Dizzee is arguably at his best when collaborating with others – the opening bars of You’ve Got The Dirtee Love, for example, are met with screams as loud as any we’ve ever heard at a gig.
Set-closer Bonkers is, essentially, the perfect pop song. Energetic? Check. Repetitive? Check? Catchy as hell? YES. As soon as the distinctive synth-bass into kicks in, the crowd well and truly lose it, and they don’t regain composure for the duration of the track – it’s mindless, yes, but it’s just too much fun to dance to.
Dizzee Rascal’s live show is everything you’d expect it to be. It’s highly energetic, hugely enjoyable, and utterly contagious – we couldn’t help but be charmed by Dizzee’s boundless enthusiasm, and we’d recommend his live show to anybody. He’s playing festivals all over the UK this summer – make sure you check him out!