example 468x312 Can You Gig It?: Example @ Hoxton Bar & Grill, London 3.9.09

That Louise Doherty went along to see that rapper Example the other night. Here she talk:

I swore I’d never go to another Example gig after the last time, when the man himself called me an idiot.

I’m certain there are many things I’ve done which deserve that charming accolade, but going to a gig on my own because I’m a long-time proponent of Example’s particularly unique brand of dysfunctional electro pop – while my friends aren’t (yet) – is not one of them.

The incident filled me with fury and resentment: “But I forced my friends to watch your new video on TV! I made a special effort to tune into your hilarious Radio 1 interview! I bought your first album! I’ve seen you play THREE times! I follow you on Twitter, and I’m your Facebook Fan! Hell, I even find you strangely attractive!”

If anything, I should have got a shout-out at that gig for being a super-fan and helping to spread the Word of Example (that’s Elliott Gleave by the by, initials E.G. – geddit?).

(Readership, when I asked Louise if she wanted to go to this show I didn’t realise quite how much “baggage” was attached – Ed)

So, like a lover scorned, when the announcement came that the Hoxton Bar and Grill gig would feature a preview of the new album, Won’t Go Quietly (not out until early 2010), I obstinately refused to buy tickets.

If it hadn’t been for this wonderful music weblog I would have probably spent the evening skulking under the duvet, snaffling Hob Nobs – but a true reviewer never lets their feelings get in the way, right? Off to Hoxton I went, with my head held high. It was a selfless act to you, dear readers. I didn’t want to go. Honest. (Get on with it please – Ed)

But boy, I’m glad I did. It was like something from an episode of Skins – people dancing and jumping and writhing to the grimy beats DJ Wire was pumping out, jostling to get to the front and sweating all over each other. There was that kind of energy in the room that you only get when truly dedicated fans of a relatively underground artist come together.

People were punching the air in unison when the opening bars of each song started – including an awesome remix/cover/sample of Etta James’ “I just Wanna Make Love To You” as an intro to “I Don’t Want To”, from album numero uno, What We Made.

He rattled through the hits – “Girl Can’t Dance”, “Hooligans” (produced by excellent rave-meister Don Diablo), “Dirty Face” (video extremely not safe for work), and the latest single “Watch the Sun Come Up” (video below) – a more chilled out offering that originally started out life as an entirely different song set to a Jose Gonzalez beat, entitled “One Night”.

But from my moral highground I witnessed something else. Since I discovered Example in 2007 he’s reincarnated himself across many genres – hip-hop, novelty rap, grime, electro and pop. But it was all a bit disconnected – flashes of brilliance with no direction.

This gig, however, felt coherent, like he’d finally thrown off the shackles of his melodic past, worked out how to team comedy lyrics and razor-sharp observations with stonking dirty beats and catchy pop hooks, and grown into a proper butterfly. Albeit a Nando-loving, raving, neon one with wide eyes and big lips.

And if you don’t catch him next time he flutters by your city, then you’re the idiot.

This frighteningly passionate interlude came courtesy of Louise Doherty, who’s got a blog and a Twitter account, so nerr.

Buy Example MP3s at 7Digital

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