Tinie Tempah – review

Brighton Dome

If you can judge such things by the extremes of age a popstar attracts, Tinie Tempah seems as close to ubiquity as it's possible to get. The night before this show in Brighton, viewers of ITV's TV Burp were treated to the sight of a crowd of pensioners singing his breakthrough hit Pass Out. On the other hand, if the audience at this gig were any younger, they'd have arrived by pushchair.

The crowd's reaction when the rapper arrives – hood up, whooping – is so frenzied, you get the feeling that if he just stood there for the next hour with his hood up, whooping, they'd go home happy. As it is, they get a full-on pop show, complete with covers of recent hits (Far East Movement's Like a G6; Taio Cruz's Dynamite), a guest spot from support act Katy B and a lot of who-can-scream-the-loudest audience participation.

An impressively kinetic presence while rapping, his persona veers from hokey to charming. He talks so much about his Brits win that you almost wish he'd gone home empty-handed; he even gets a volunteer to come up and wave his awards around. But he also encourages fans to take snaps of him posing, complete with ridiculous grin, and convinces the entire audience to crouch on the floor then jump in the air: the bedlam that ensues is pretty infectious.

It is not the only moment the show carries you along. Though the hip-hop affectations – including CCTV footage of riots during Simply Unstoppable – ring a little hollow, and the sound is as cluttered as you'd expect from a full band attempting to recreate a sample-driven album, when the show sparks, it is undeniable. Miami to Ibiza is a thrilling torrent of drums and rave synthesisers, and Pass Out still sounds like the best pop single of the last 12 months. The latter causes such pandemonium that it makes the noise that greeted his arrival sound as subdued as the parents waiting outside the venue.


Alexis Petridis

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Tinie Tempah | Pop review
Koko, London
This south London grime MC is on a mission to follow the Dizzee Rascal route to commercial success, writes Ian Gittins

Ian Gittins

07, Apr, 2010 @10:30 PM

Article image
Tinie Tempah review – A brash show with odd moments of intimacy

Tempah says he wants to make 'deeper music' after battling with the notion of selling out, but there are few signs of hidden depths amid this ear-splitting performance, writes Dave Simpson

Dave Simpson

30, Mar, 2014 @3:23 PM

Article image
Tinie Tempah – review
With his songs about champagne and Dysons, Tinie Tempah gives UK hip-hop a distinctive voice, writes Kitty Empire

Kitty Empire

16, Oct, 2010 @11:06 PM

Article image
Tinie Tempah: Demonstration – review
It may not have the hits his debut did, but Tinie Tempah's second album still features some truly genius-level lyrics, writes Caroline Sullivan

Caroline Sullivan

31, Oct, 2013 @9:14 PM

Article image
Tinie Tempah: Youth review – noughties rapper grows up, but pop is his playground

Rachel Aroesti

13, Apr, 2017 @9:00 PM

Tinie Tempah: Demonstration – review

As his profile grows, so does the self-belief... but have we lost some of the Tinie Tempah charm, asks Killian Fox

Killian Fox

03, Nov, 2013 @12:05 AM

Article image
Tinie Tempah: Disc-Overy | CD review
He's got the charm and the hit-making triumphalism. If only Tinie Tempah could have come up with one or two more witty lines, writes Kitty Empire

Kitty Empire

02, Oct, 2010 @11:05 PM

Article image
Tinie Tempah: Youth review – lots of hooks, not enough Tinie

Damien Morris

16, Apr, 2017 @7:00 AM

Article image
Brits 2011 highlights: Tinie Tempah scoops two awards - video

Rappers Tinie Tempah and Plan B were among the winners at this year's awards, while Mumford & Sons and Laura Marling flew the flag for British folk

16, Feb, 2011 @10:23 AM

Article image
Tinie Tempah: 'My main objective is to capture this generation'

As fans await his debut album Disc-Overy – out on 4 October – the south London rapper takes us back to his musical roots

20, Sep, 2010 @1:23 PM