Written by Selina Clark
“SQUEE!” I’m now distracted by the girl next to me who [judging by this noise] has spotted someone famous amongst us. I turn to my left to see Piers Agget [the keyboard player] of Rudimental. But my attention isn’t taken for too long before the support act Jess Glynn launches into her latest single Right Here which has hyped up the crowd readying them for the arrival of Rudimental.
Jess Glynne with an air of cool calm and jokeyness does the “running man” off stage which has gained a lot of peoples respect if they haven’t already been won over by her soulful vocals and brilliant confidence.
Now everyone is on tenterhooks. We all know what is coming next and everyone is very eager to see what Rudimental have in store. The iTunes countdown begins and gets to 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1!
The crowd cheer excitedly and Rudimental come out onstage chanting “Rudimental” with gripping harmonies. The bass drum kicks in and swallows you. The band are dancing on stage bringing to mind the image of a really big house party… except with a few hundred people staring at it.
I’m instantly drawn to the drummer who I can only describe as a machine! Look at that guy go!
“It feels so good to be home right now” DJ Locksmith announces after the first song.
We’re introduced to a small blond singer who comes down onto the stage from her platform. Her enticing vocals make you instantly forgive Rudimental for not bringing out one of their guest vocalists onto the stage.
The second song kicks in and is an instant crowd pleaser with more than anything which is met by a sea of arms.
Next there is an unnerving and painful feedback, met with cheers once it is corrected. But the technical difficulties don’t appear to be over yet as we now can’t hear the singers who seem to be attempting some kind of sound. Luckily they pull it back by singing the first verse again once the mic works, the band hold it together well and make it seem almost deliberate and part of the performance.
After the calm verse Anne [blonde singer] pulls at her skirt in preparation to pull out some dance moves which the entire band join in on. The music is amped up even more with the fantastic light display. Which appears to inject the already filled stage with more energy.
Being a dance band the structure and musicality is very similar from song to song. However, somehow Rudimental pull this off and keep you interested throughout their entire set. Perhaps this is due to the variation of calm verses and explosive choruses?
The group are now doing star jump lunges. Which makes me think they will never have the need of a gym membership as they’re live performance seems to have that covered. Which reminds me I must work out more.
“Because we’re back home we need to give you something new right?” We instantly learn the new song within a few minutes. Another benefit of the repetition of a dance band. When we are invited to sing we already know the lyrics “You’re too cool to Love me back!” The new song has all the Rudimental elements with its dance drum beat and long drawn bass riff. It’s definitely well received.
DJ Locksmith is inviting us to stand for I Am Free. Does this man have no respect for health and safety? The sign clearly says “No Standing”. Fine, the rebel in me feels exhilarated to stick it to the man so stand I shall! I’m definitely feeling more “free” escaping my chair. Thanks DJ Locksmith for the suggestion.
Next the band pull back the energy and opt for a calmer number. By calmer I mean calm for the singers and brass players. The drummer is still going for it! You have to have serious respect for this guy! The juxtaposed lights and hectic drum beats just emphasise this man’s talent.
The drummer finally gets a break as he calms to a slow beat and the guitarist shines through with a catchy melody.
Singer [Thomas Jules] is crouched on the floor in a pose that looks almost like he is ready to run for England in the long distance. The music is building with sweeping vocal melodies and the echo of sax and trumpet, it’s layered so beautifully.
By song eight the crowd is well and truly hyped again from Mark’s trumpet solo. DJ Locksmith is now humping [singer] Bridget’s leg! Does she mind? Or is this something she has grown accustomed to? The harmonies on this song come over you in a wave of bliss. Really feels like summer is back! I’m fully expecting to go outside to be met with festival sunshine.
As the set continues DJ Locksmith throws his jumper into the crowd. No one seems to reject it meaning that Rudimental have now advanced to that stage in their music career where people accept random sweaty items of clothing.
The trumpet player is now teasing us with the familiar trumpet solo sound of Feel The Love. The song featuring John Newman which amped them to prominence in 2012.
“iTunes! Can I see those hearts” The singer is holding his hands in a heart shape… when did this become a thing? What happened to the rock hands? When did that stop being cool?
Rudimental finally give the audience what they want and play Feel the Love. The venue is well and truly in party mode!
The song ends with everyone singing accapella. The band walk offstage and you can almost feel the worry in the air that the traditional tease of an encore was actually the real ending to Rudimental’s iTunes festival appearance.
A bass note starts up assuring us they’re coming back. DJ Locksmith re-appears.
“Who wants more?” is met with the crowd’s cheer. The bassist walks onstage with a keyboard and plays a very satisfying bass melody who is then joined by the guitarist and Piers Agget [keys]. One by one the band come back and start improvising.
“London town’s gonna show you about shuffling!” Oh are we? We’re about to learn to shuffle [perhaps an ode to the retired Apple iPod family?]
I’m gripped by staggered brass while the singer splits the room in two and gives each side a line to sing.
DJ Locksmith addresses the right side of the room [my side] “I think you’re slacking!”. Excuse me? We had the harder line to sing and started before the left side! So I think actually we’re winning! They have it way easier! I demand a re-match!… Oh no wait! Waiting All Night! Finally! The song we know everyone has been literally waiting all night for! [no pun intended]. Not going to lie though. I was a little disappointed there was no sign of Ella Eyre but Anne pulls off the powerful vocal hook that has become synonymous with this track.
The crowd are really going for it now along with the band. The band’s energy makes it hard to distinguish where the crowd ends and the musicians begin. This is a band that look like they genuinely enjoy every minute they are onstage. Their interaction is so pleasing to watch. Constantly giving it there all in sound and performance.
DJ Locksmith has now thrown his shirt into the crowd. He doesn’t have many more items of clothing left to be honest and I’m worried that he may end up with nothing to wear.
Rudimental leave the audience energised and wanting more.
“London this is our town and no one can take it!” A strong statement that seems to leave the crowd feeling united.
Rudimental! What can I say? You have not failed to blow me away! Thank you iTunes for booking this brilliant act! Truly inspirational and talented musicians who deserve every success they achieve.