Sun | Apr 5, 2020

I-Octane thrills O2 Brixton Academy

Published:Friday | May 29, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Macka Diamond

Dancehall entertainers I-Octane and Macka Diamond attracted a full house at the O2 Brixton Academy in London, England, last Sunday, for a show dubbed 'More Life'.

Over 5,000 patrons crammed into the venue to be part of 'More Life', the largest cultural experience for black music, with a heavyweight line-up that consisted of Mighty Crown, Stone Love, English ragga-pop star Ms Dynamite, Macka Diamond and I-Octane.

I-Octane was simply brilliant during his set, opening with My Life, for which he got a huge roar of approval from the audience. He then clambered on top of a nearby speaker box and declared, "Mi nuh wear bwoy clothes". Lighters dotted the venue. He told the crowd to buss a blank, leaping up on the speakers, and the crowd exploded.

He then changed gears neatly by serenading a female in white leggings, a white shirt and black bikini bottom, singing L-O-V-E-Y-O-U. Then he stopped to talk to the crowd for a few seconds, before he declared, "Ah the gal dem we love", and performed Wine and Jiggle.

During this song, a buxom, dark-skinned girl challenged the white female (already on stage), getting on all fours and wining up a storm, and the crowd loved it.

I-Octane then received a big forward when his white dancer got on her head, and he attempted to mount her in that position. The females screamed his name in excitement.

He then got the crowd to settle down singing, "No one can love you like I do", before upping the tempo again.

"If mi drop da song, and no man no move, then something wrong! TJ Records, gyal ting, it nuh hard," he deejayed, and the forwards were deafening inside the Brixton Academy.

One of the high points of the night came when he instructed the technical personnel to lock off all the lights so he could see the cellular phones light up the venue. He then did Lose A Friend, with the crowd singing in unison and phones making bright pinpoints of light like a million fireflies gathered in the dark. It was a touching moment.

Octane segued neatly into Study Yuh Friend, and more forwards followed.

"Mi can memba when mi did want to close a show at Brixton Academy, and now it a happen," he said, before doing one of his biggest singles, Gyal A Gimmi Bun. He earned a forward, and then pulled up the song and did it again.

"Him drink out mi fruit juice dem," he said laughing, and the crowd erupted into laughter.

Then he segued into, We Love the Vibes, pulling down the curtains on an excellent show.

Earlier, Macka Diamond worked an excellent 25-minute set peppered with hits such as Bun Him, Done Already and the monster hit, Dye Dye. She interacted well with the crowd.

Dancehall insiders believe that 'More Life 2015' has put reggae back on the UK map, especially against the background of no-shows because of visa challenges and poor organisations from promoters in recent years.

The show was organised by Another Level and Flames Radio promotions.