Live Review: Little Roy with Prince Fatty and Hollie Cook at London 100 Club – 25th August 2011

By on Wednesday, 31st August 2011 at 2:00 pm
 

Despite the 100 Club’s punk rock heritage, tonight is a much more chilled affair. The reggae vibes coming through the PA system is soaked up by the slowly entering crowd. Headlining tonight’s show is the hottest name in reggae right now – Little Roy. Having had previous success throughout the 80s and 90s, Little Roy has managed to capture today’s young music fans with his fantastic Nirvana covers album, ‘Battle for Seattle’. This is his first performance of the Nirvana covers in the UK and the excitement can be heard buzzing around the room.

Before Little Roy takes to the stage, though, it is up to Prince Fatty to heat up the crowd. Almost as soon as Prince Fatty presses play the feet are moving and bodies swaying as London is given a true taste of Jamaica. With a whole host of MCs joining him on stage including Horseman, the stand-out performance comes from Hollie Cook, daughter of former Sex Pistols drummer Paul Cook. Her soulful and rhythmic voice soars over the crowd and keeps the dancehall moving. As the Prince Prince Fatty Soundsystem gradually comes to a close, much to the dismay of the 100 Club, it’s time for the headliner of the third Converse curated free shows (recall the earlier Everything Everything gig I attended, review here) at the celebrated London venue – Little Roy.

A merger of reggae and grunge might not have been a conventional decision, but the outcome is outstanding. The coarseness and emotion of Kurt Cobain’s voice isn’t lost through Little Roy’s rendition, as he plays a selection of tracks from his upcoming ‘Battle for Seattle’ album. The new LP from Little Roy of 10 Nirvana covers and there’s no ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ – hoorah! Originally angsty harder songs from Nirvana’s repertoire are suddenly much calmer and skanktastic thanks to the seven artists onstage contributing to this innovative sound.

The recent singles from the album ‘Sliver’ and ‘Come as You Are’ receive the best reception, as the 100+ people in this intimate setting sing and dance along to a song written by a hero and now sung by a dedicated fan and musician. The originally haunting ‘Polly’ is oddly brought to life and the meaning almost changed as Little Roy smiles incessantly as he sings “Polly wants a cracker…”. As the last notes ring out and the band leave the stage, the infectious rhythms of Little Roy and co. coupled with Cobain’s lyrics stick in the minds of the audience for the rest of the night. Whatever your opinion on Little Roy’s effort at a Nirvana covers album, he’s keeping the infamous status of Nirvana alive.

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[…] Little Roy found his way onto national radio stations and even played at the prestigious 100 Club (review here) on the back of his latest release ‘Battle for Seattle’, a collection of Nirvana […]

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