CHALI 2NA & KRAFTY KUTS | LIVE REVIEW
Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff, Thurs 16 Mar
By hosting a diverse range of artists in an intimate setting, Clwb Ifor Bach has easily become one of my favourite venues in Cardiff. Supporting Chali 2na and Krafty Kuts were Dirty Alex, a Cardiff-born collective who combine jazzy sounds with hip-hop influences. It was refreshing to see a young Welsh group with such a unique interpretation of hip-hop. The funk instrumentals and smooth lead vocals by Sam Jones in Heaven Sent sum up these guys in just a few minutes. It is clear where they get their inspirations from, as they cover Doug E Fresh’s Ladi Dadi (albeit introduced as a Snoop Dogg cover) and pay tribute in song to Miles Davis.
Krafty Kuts was next on stage with his technical cut and paste mixes, pumping up the audience instantly whilst opening with NWA’s remix of Express Yourself. His skilful spinning makes it plain to see how he is continuing to play countless festivals internationally. Toning down his usual bass-heavy tracks to suit the crowd was a logical move as he churned out feel-good classics and an oldie, Tricka Technology, for good measure.
The audience go silent for a few seconds before AC/DC’s Back In Black blasts out as Chali 2na joins Krafty Kuts on stage. His presence is powerful as he opens with one of his club bangers from his 2009 album Fish Outta Water, Lock Shit Down. It’s impossible to stay still with the raw energy encompassing the audience. Chali’s incredible baritone voice is addictive, and slightly reminiscent of Shaggy. International is the only song that lacked energy as he raps only small parts over the recorded track sang by Beenie Man, but this hardly takes away from the sweeping performance.
Along with signatures from his old material, the duo dropped their new track in collaboration with Dynamite MC, It Ain’t My Fault. Chali’s humble presence is infectious, as he takes us back on a nostalgic journey through his career with Jurassic 5. Busting out Freedom and What’s Golden elevates the atmosphere, before finishing with the ever-memorable Concrete Schoolyard, most chanting it word by word. Showing his utmost love for his fans and the music he produces, he stuck around at the end with every single person who wanted to take a photo with him. Chali ended on a promising note, too: Jurassic 5 are “coming back and they are not backing up.” Watch this space.
words CADI DAFYDD JONES