During his set at Kings of Sound on Saturday Optamus says, “You don’t have to love [specifically] hip hop, dub-step or drum and bass.” He shouts out the other artists on the line-up, “It doesn’t matter what kind of music it is as long as it is music that you feel…that comes from here”. He bro pounds his chest and drops a Nina Simone mash-up using her song, ‘Feeling Good’. From all over the Rosemount Hotel, punters quickly rush back to the inside stage, keen to witness a sharp, together and sophisticated live show display. The live keys over beats were a magnetic element of the set, however for me it was the scratching, winds and drops by DJ L-Street that made the set the fire that it was. It wasn’t until the aforementioned set that I fully began to enjoy KOS. I jumped up and down and screamed, while my friend looked at me side-ways.
One of the downfalls to having a festival of mixed genres is not knowing what’s going on and having to decide where exactly you’d like to be. As always with such a varied line-up, fans of one artist can potentially discover a love for new and different music and its makers.
As we moved from the ladies to the outside area, one of the girls told my friend and I, “I came for the dub-step and drum and bass, but there’s so much hip hop. Don’t get me wrong its good hip hop, but it’s not what I’m here for.” Luckily, it was what I was there for.
Heading out to the arena where the mic sound had earlier proved rough, Tom Thumb and Greeley were beat-boxing one of the funkiest sets I had heard in a while. Some kind of improvised jazz, grime-wind, soul-funk beat box; a kind of dj scratch, rap acapella coming out of their mouths – it was definitely a highlight of the night.
Back inside after that the dubstep duo who stood out were Killafoe and J. Nitrous whose set was absolutely sharp and ‘killa’.
Though the bill for Kings of Sound 3 was heavier than the acts that actually played, the notable absence was Dazastah and Layla and The Stoops. I don’t know what happened there, but their presence was missed.
Quality and content wise, you couldn’t look past Paulie P & Rocksteady or Porsah Laines energy on stage.
Complete also delivered as usual – an effortlessly skilled and energetic set even on the outside stage which suffering some shocking sound quality.
All in all, the afternoon and evening had great moments that peaked against a festival that might need to sharpen its approach next year.
Review by Aleyna Martinez.
Photography by Henry Buttsworth.