Much anticipation has surrounded Loyle Carner’s tour, hyped by his second album, after almost two years without making music. The south Londoner did not disappoint at the sold-out crowd at the Camden Roundhouse.
Having seen him perform at Rescue Rooms in Nottingham not long after the release of Yesterday’s Gone, Loyle’s growth since has been remarkable. That time round the rapper was accompanied on stage with his DJ and nothing else.
This time, at the Roundhouse, his show was a far more immersive experience, it almost felt like you were listening to one of your friend’s jam. This is by no means a criticism, it is one of the reasons his fans adore him. There was a moment when he himself sat down to recite ‘Dear Jean’ and listen to Sampha serenade the crowd.
Loyle could have been forgiven if he was a tad distracted, because his beloved Liverpool who were deep in the midst of the tantalising Champions League Semi-Final tie against Spanish giants Barcelona. But this was not the case – despite the crowd shouting the score at him.
It felt like he used the elation of Liverpool’s epic comeback and channelled it to raise his performance level. He had the crowd, a lot of whom had donned ‘Loyle Carner FC’ shirts, singing and rapping along to every word, whether it was to his old or new work.
While it would have been easy for him to just play his music and leave, he treated the sell-out crowd to a beautiful poem. But the highlight of the evening was when his mum, Jean Coyle-Larner joined him on stage to perform ‘Dear Ben’.
A pin drop could be heard in the Roundhouse as she read out a poem written about her son. The emotion was clear, with both Loyle and Jean tearing up. He ended with one of his singles, Loose Ends, seamlessly ending a brilliant show.