Live review: Rizzle Kicks, Natalie Bang Bang at Academy, 14/2/14

_MG_1598Support act Natalie Bang Bang fail in engaging with a nonplussed crown that is merely waiting around twiddling their thumbs for the main event.

They play a batch of badly orchestrated cover songs and the nails-on-the-blackboard sophomoric effort is a tedious affair with the band of session musicians pulling the obligatory forcible ‘I’m-having-a-great-time’ smiles with the bass player looking like he was forced ‘or’ bribed (probably at gunpoint) to be performing up on stage as part of the Bang Bang Band.


There is nothing remotely wrong with selling one’s soul to the dark Radio One sensibilities’ but the consequences are not always comfortable for all taking part.

It is a sub-par affair that fails to meet the criteria of a weak mediocrity, which is further compounded with singer Natalie Bang Bang, having next to zero charisma on stage.

Everything seems forced and the backing band try their best to evoke a sense of enjoyment from the unfortunate nightmarish situation they have found themselves tangled up within.

An acidic gimmick, which will make a few bucks in the short term – terribly awkward.

Brighton due Rizzle Kicks are one of the few successful male acts to emerge from the Brit school that produced a modicum of artists during the boom and bust period of the Kate Nash-ion London-‘rich-rags-to-riches’ movement and the more recent birth of female artists such as Adele, Amy Winehouse and Leona Lewis.

Fortunately for Rizzle Kicks is that they know what they are what they aim of their game is; i.e. there are no false pretenses about the limits of their artistry and the constrained endeavors’ they have at their disposal.

With purposefully party-hard idiosyncrasies and a conscientious superficiality, the due congregate a mish-mash of various influences and collate them together, like ants on a journey back to their humble abode – thriving in the miscellany of collectable gastronomic arbitrariness – the numerous influences bind together and create a naturally lively style.

Without a hard-knock life story to exploit – like many a contestant’ on the deluge of mind-numbingly morose talent shows – or any underground credentials, their main goal is to entertain, and it is within this domain they really do excel.

They entertain – but they do so in a fun, jokey, banterous manner – with cartoonish gyrating and invocations being a staple in Jordan “Rizzle” Stephens and Harley “Sylvester” tuneful performances.

They offer a colourful blanket of pop-tastic melodious fun, which contrasts against the abundance of dreich being released from artists with far too much time for introspection and self-affirmation.

Tonight’s show is a vis-à-vis hijinks party with flirtatious banter flowing back and forth between Sylvester and Stephen, with an innocuous concoction of anecdotal jibes centered on lover’s trysts and snogging rendezvous – it is February the 14th of course.


They fire into ‘Lost Generation’ fueling up the crowd from their tedious draught after the haphazardly ill-paced performance of the opening act.

The song is not lost among the Glasgow crowd tonight, and they revel in the antics of Sylvester and his mast-wearing Jeremy Kyle antics.

‘I love you more than you think’ is a bolstering all round performance with a great melody and a radio friendly brass infectious chorus, which included bass, solo and deck scratching to boot.

Kudos to the tight six-piece backing band, contributing to some of the most fundamental elements within some of the songs, including the brass section which complement the overall ‘big-band’ feel that Rizzle Kicks achieve with gusto.

Energy levels are effortlessly maintained through the mariachi-flavoured enthusiasm of breakthrough hit ‘Down With The Trumpets’ and the joyful disco characteristics of ‘Mama Do The Hump’ – both transmitted with a get-together, merry-making spirit which spread like throughout the Academy intoxicating the eclectic array of fans.

Finishing on ‘Mama Do the Hump’ and ‘Put Your Two’s Up’, it is a cheerful embodiment of the spirit of the crowd that is testament to the fun ride that was to be had.

Not exactly groundbreaking stuff, but that isn’t why people made their way along in a miserable and wet Glasgow night – they came to have a good time; and a good time they had.

More photos

Words: Derek Robertson
Photos: Jayjay Robertson


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