LIVE REVIEW: 808ink at the jazz cafe

'Amazed and not surprised.'

words: Amara Barrett-Willett

photos: Photos: @itsjustgillain

808INK performed at the famous Jazz Café for their last show on their UK tour. Fresh off the buzz of When I’m About, You’ll Know 2 808Charmer and Mumblez brought everything they had and more for their fans.  High energy, and hot steppers this was 808INK showing their fans how they’ve grown since the days of Hungry and Billy’s Home. Coming out to cheers and screams from the crowd, 808 Charmer and Mumblez instantly brought the energy, telling the audience it was going to be a night for the steppers. And it really was, working through When I’m About You’ll Know 1 and 2 the guys performed a range of their hits from the two full length albums.

Forever focused on the energy and vibe of a night, giant footballs were thrown off stage into the audience this followed the shift in energy. By far, one of the best performances of the night was Continue off WIAYK2 the giant footballs were bouncing across the crowd just as Prynce Mini came out to shell down the room. 808 Charmer’s trademark hyped screams were ringing through the room as Mini bought some island vibes to the night. And like every 808INK performance ever, 808Charmer and Mumblez pulled out all the stops with their dancing. If an artist can’t dance to their music can you? 

Never a group to disappoint with surprise guests, halfway through the show Kadaita appeared from backstage to On Tap. A unexpected amazing performance, featuring ad libs from Mumblez and 808Charmer I didn’t know I needed. Kadaita came out to cheers from the crowd, excited that their lineup became instantly better with his arrival. After his song, he took some to shout out the side of the UK scene not limiting themselves to the label of grime; shouting out Sam Wise, 808 INK and Che Lingo – the opening act. Kadaita left the stage shortly after, but hopefully this all means we have a collab between 808INK and Kadaita in the near future.

The two then took it down a notch taking the audience back to the days of Hungry, performing an eternal favourite Dssy taking a slower tone, the crowd rocked and vibed with the heavy drum beats and sang along with 808Charmer and Mumblez. 

Nearing the end of the performance, 808INK told the crowd about the venue doubting the group’s ability to fill out the club, looking around at the packed room you could see how happy they were to have proved them wrong. But this is 808INK’s deal, they’re the posterchild of doing things your own way and being successful. Thriving in the UK scene when you’re not making grime or afroswing isn’t easy, and 808INK have been killing it for over 3 years now. Shortly after this, the familiar beat of 45 With Sam started, Sam Wise jumped out from backstage ready and waiting to come in. The energy in the audience tripled, everyone waiting for possibly one of the best features ever to start. Only to be expected Sam and 808INK smashed it, but the song was a sign the show was about to end.

Wrapping up, the pair took it back to Billy’s Home with one of their first hits, Suede Jaw, a testament to how much 808INK have grown since then, but also a sign to how they still challenge the UK scene with the unexpected.