Rudimental photo by Lauren Noble


As the O2 Apollo is filling to bursting point, DJ M.A.X has been tasked with delighting the crowd for about an hour. He’s not what you’d call ‘easy listening’ but he’s definitely got talent. His mixing style and obvious passion for music can’t be faulted. He even sneaks in a Michael Jackson track for his finale, which is such a different take on a classic, it is truly inspiring. DJ M.A.X is someone to watch out for.

The stage lights are flickering and pulsing as support act Anne-Marie saunters oh-so gracefully onto the stage to a roar from the crowd. She’s the crowned winner of the MTV Brand New For 2016 award, and it’s easy to see why. Anne-Marie; the blonde bombshell quite literally wows the crowd into submission within her first song. The beautiful combination of the lyrics and melodies blow us away. ‘Gentlemen’ has an almost poetic calming effect and it allows her true passion and love for performing to shine through as clear as day. Nearing the end of her set she brings out the big guns; in the form of her own single which she’s just released, ‘Do It Right’, which riles the crowd into a frenzy, jumping and pounding with the rhythms and her enormous personality. If blowing the roof off was her goal for the evening, it’s been achieved in that last song.

It is time. The main act taking to the stage amid the roars and screams of the highly energised crowd. Disappointingly DJ Locksmith is unwell and won’t be performing with the band tonight. Despite this minor setback, I’m sure that they’ll give a show to remember.

Bridgette Amofah (the 2008 female artist to watch according to The Times) rocking along to the opener ‘Right Here’ covering the part of Foxes with tremendous attention to detail. She is someone with such an innate sense of stage presence, she knows exactly how to please and tease the crowd into submission. Through the opener the crowd is just allowing themselves to be taken away with the progressions of the track, nothing else matters but the music.

Following on with Will Heard (the recently better known artist) and ‘I Will For Love’ really blows the socks off everyone in the venue. With the obviously poignant lyrics and the deep house style beats kicking off on the stage, the crowd don’t have to work too hard to get in the partying mood!

Combining the talents of Anne-Marie and Heard, ‘Rumour Mill’ hits the turbo on the mood of the crowd; dancing and jumping to the beat is par for the course with this song; with two of the most energetic and hilarious performers on stage feeding of each other in front of us, it was bound to lead to something quite amazing, and we aren’t disappointed at all.

Hitting up the stage again is the versatile and always smiling Anne-Marie, this time she’s accompanied by Thomas Jules who for the purposes of ‘Love Ain’t Just A Word’ is covering Dizzee Rascal’s vocals in his own special way. Anne-Marie and Jules almost battling on stage and come together to really hammer home the chorus along with the crowd is something quite magical.

The end is near on the last leg of Rudimental’s UK 2016 tour and the only possible way it could end is with ‘Waiting All Night’, call it poetic justice if you will, but Jules rounds off the night with his flawless version. Getting the crowd to quite literally scream the lyrics is such a good way to wreck a couple of throats and lose a few voices; but well worth it! He’s just so passionate about creating his sound and it’s enthralling to watch.

When the lights finally dim after what seems like a lifetime, it is time to leave and stumble through the discarded litter and confetti.

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Lauren Noble

Journalism student at MMU; interested in all things music related. Lover of art and waffles. I accidentally sing loudly on the bus far too often.