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Ghostface Killah Review: “The shortest performance I’ve ever witnessed”

PUBLISHED: 10:13 08 June 2018 | UPDATED: 11:09 08 June 2018

The Waterfront building. Picture: Denise Bradley

The Waterfront building. Picture: Denise Bradley

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Boos rang out amid chaos and uncertainty at The Waterfront as 250 eager hip-hop heads were left waiting until 10.45 for the arrival of American gangster rapper Ghostface Killah.

Ghostface Killah's empty stage. Picture: Paul JonesGhostface Killah's empty stage. Picture: Paul Jones

Some people had already angrily left the venue before two of his crew entered the stage to set up and perform quick sound checks. The atmosphere had begun to turn toxic.

The beats kicked in and with no announcement the former Wu Tang Clan member was on stage alongside Killah Priest and their DJ to begin their act. Amazingly, just thirty seconds later Ghostface, a.k.a Dennis Coles, was gone again leaving myself and other punters baffled and confused. Killah Priest tried to keep the energy up for a minute in case he returned, but the crowd had had enough and began to heckle. He too left the stage alongside the DJ and the lights came up. The sound of jeers and boos echoed loudly.

That was it. The shortest performance I’ve ever witnessed, and certainly the most bizarre. Apparently a plastic cup of liquid had been thrown onto the stage by a disgruntled punter and a seemingly already unhappy rapper had flounced off.

Why were they late? We don’t know for sure, but rumours suggest they blame UK customs for a delay getting into the country. Their European tour took them to Switzerland on the 2nd June so it is feasible. Other rumours suggest they have been in the UK a few days already. It is all speculation. His Facebook and Twitter feeds are empty of any messages or apologies.

Music Lessons on stage. Picture: Paul JonesMusic Lessons on stage. Picture: Paul Jones

Why was no announcement or apology made by staff at The Waterfront at any point between their scheduled on-stage time of 21.15 and the arrival at 22.45? Again we don’t know. I don’t want to criticise anybody at this otherwise excellent music venue where I have enjoyed hundreds of perfectly managed gigs over the years, but it was an error. Somebody should at least have updated us on stage, even if they did not know for sure.

What we do know is the venue has offered no quibble refunds for all tickets and that they have a busy few days ahead.

The night was not a complete write off however as the support act ‘Music Lessons’ completed a full set. The hip-hop clan had a far shorter distance to travel, all hailing from our very own fine city of Norwich. No problems at customs for them.

Six rappers and a balaclava wearing singer all took turns to do their thing, however they seemed to struggle. They encouraged everybody to get nearer to the stage to stoke a bit of interaction but were uncoordinated and a couple of their members looked very uncomfortable. The leading three tried their best and their rapping was decent at times, but I found the tracks samey and their performance overall was amateurish.

Music Lessons on stage. Picture: Paul JonesMusic Lessons on stage. Picture: Paul Jones

I do however have to give props to their DJ who was excellent. He dropped beats with spot on timing and his scratching was impressive.

With a bit of guidance on performance and a better range of beats they could be pretty good, but they weren’t enough to save a strange Thursday night in Norwich.

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