LIVE REVIEW: Ghetto Gospel: The New Testament
Ghetto Gospel: The New Testament was arguably one of the best albums of 2018. Down to the concept, the musical range and the replay value; the whole album was executed to an impeccably high standard. So it was exciting to witness how this would translate to a live show.
Originally one night in London, at Islington Assembly Hall, an extra date was added due to the high demand. Dj Firestarr warmed up with classic grime songs, engaging the audience playing the likes of Dizzie Rascal - I Luv U, Skepta - Duppy (Doing It Again) and Stormzy - Shut Up. However, the crowd were already anticipating Ghetts’ arrival and were eager to get going.
Coming out with little fuss and straight into Caution, Ghetts set pace from the first song. Fluidly transitioning in between the higher energy tracks from the album such, as Slumdog Millionaire, Houdini, Halloween and Preach, he did not miss a step as he comfortably performed each one.
After a small break whilst they set up the instruments on the stage, Ghetts went into the slower half of the album. Regardless of the change of mood and pace, Ghetts' stage presence ensured the audience remained fixated. Performing with amazing backing singers and instrumentalists, tracks like Jess’s Song, Black Rose and Purple Sky, he demonstrated how much of a multi-layered musician he is.
Next onto the classic grime songs, with Rude Kid on the decks. Watching Ghetts effortlessly glide over beats with his skippy flow and such clear diction is something else. And hearing songs such as Artillery and Sing 4 Me brought back that nostalgic feeling. After a hiccup with the beat, caused Rude Kid to reload, it was impressive watching Ghetts smoothly jump straight back in. Watching such a legend on stage, smiling and dancing - comfortable in his own skin, was heart warming to see and reminded the audience of how far he really has come.
Ghetts shared the stage with others who contributed to the great album, including Jordy, Kojey Radical, Rukhsana Merrise. And then there was Giggs, Chip, Kano, Lethal Bizzle and Mercston. Going back-to-back with Ghetts, each drew a raucous reaction from the crowd. Despite these big names, Ghetts remained the star of the show. Not that he has anything to prove, but this performance and album confirmed that this OG is not slowing down!