Three decent support acts get the lively crowd ready for the main attraction, a homecoming gig for Harley “Sylvester” Alexander-Sule and Jordan “Rizzle” Stephens aka Rizzle Kicks, both of them growing up in Brighton before relocating to London via the Brit School. Jordan gained his initial MC skills at local charity-funded music and arts organisation Audio Active, and I’ve know him since he was eight years old so it’s great to see him on stage as a touring musician.
There’s a decent enough crowd and it’s nice to see their young audience out in force as they’re going to grow up with the band (but hopefully won’t grow out of them). There’s a huge roar of anticipation as the band take to the stage. Consisting of drums, bass, lead guitar and trumpet they strike up a funky version of the Inspector Gadget theme tune, a hip hop staple so the boys are showing their roots.
Jordan and Harley come bounding onto the stage like excitable puppies and have the audience in the palm of their hands from the off. There’s nothing like playing to your home crowd and they’re obviously enjoying themselves. The whole thing is upbeat, good natured and fun, and songs such as the smutty “Miss Cigarette”, “Dreamers” and “Stop the chatter” get everyone moving. The biggest reactions are for “When I was a youngster” (which I always found a strange track for a couple of twenty year olds to perform as it looks back on their lost idealism”), their Ed Sheeran swipe at the music industry “You need me, I don’t need you” also going down really well.
They chat to the crowd in equal measure so it’s a two man show all the way and not just a rapper with a backing singer. Harley plays rhythm guitar on some of the tracks as well as providing the sung vocals while Rizzle is the chattier of the two. Both off them constantly interact with their audience though, so it’s all about keeping everyone involved.
Jordan introduces the next song as 100% Brighton, so of course it’s the Fatboy Slim produced “Mama do the hump”, complete with an appearance from Jordan’s mum merrily dancing away on one side of the stage. They end with their mega hit “Down with the trumpets” and the bouncy Mariachi led trumpets are a fitting way to end an upbeat show. They’re working on the next album so it will be interesting to see if they can maintain the momentum of their initial success. I’m sure they’ve got lots of new ideas and with an assured stage show they should be around for a good while yet.
And spot a younger Jordan in the Audio Active promo