MOBO Review - M3NSA live @ Hoxton Bar

MOBO Review - M3NSA live @ Hoxton Bar

M3NSA and his band the Light’s Off rocked the house at his label showcase in the Hoxton Bar on Monday night!

Hoxton Bar was bursting at the seams with an eclectic and vibrant audience, eager to see the wonders of Mr mighty M3NSA last Monday.  After sliding my way through the masses of chitchat, I finally made it to the stage, but not without glancing back at the audience to absorb the wicked atmosphere and scan the different faces, some very familiar, such as Daniel Bedingfield; to briefly veer off subject, I wonder if there is a possible come-back in the pipeline??

The night kicked off with an amazing set from the beautiful Bumi Thomas with her charming oneiric soul and delicate vocals which grabbed the crowd’s attention, and I’m sure that anyone who hadn’t seen this lady before would be an instant fan, as I was. Keep a look out for her single which I’m predicting may be “Hole In The Sky” which she performed, as well as “Walk with Me” and “So Free”.

I’m not sure if you’ve ever tried to visually encapsulate the magical moments of a gig that you are fully immersed in; whilst trying to fight the urge to sway, bop n bounce or just simply bruk out! Well let me tell you, it isn’t easy and after 1Xtra’s DJ Edu introduced the rising star, the energy soared when M3NSA took to the stage and I was so tempted to ditch my camera! Wisely, I decided to soldier on, IS (Image Stabiliser) on lock, and allowed myself to give in to the riddims every now and then. If you want to see an artist who has mastered the art of showmanship, then my friends you should’ve been at the gig!

M3nsa is one of those MCs that can hold his own without the need of a hype-man. He performed tracks from his amazing album “No.1 Mango St.” which I love, so much so that I was singing along to half of the tracks he performed, and trust me that’s rare; I have the memory of a fish and half the time make my own lyrics up; as you do lol. What I loved most about M3NSA’s performance was the chemistry he had with his band The Light’s Off and the way the audience bonded with him, as if they all shared the patriotism and nostalgia he has for his homeland.

The Lights Off, really complemented M3NSA’s versatility and the musical arrangements they served was on point and flowed from start to finish. It was literally big tune, after big tune; “Kelewele Pimpin”, “We Go Rock”, “No One Knows”; which is his new single and was released on the same day as the gig, and “Fanti Love Song” where M3NSA shared his vulnerable side by exercising his vocal chords. I also particularly enjoyed their live version of “Adjuma” which added colour to the grit of the digital version.

Definitely the best gig I've been to for a while! If you didn’t manage to win a copy of "No.1 Mango Street" through the MOBO competition, I strongly suggest you get yourself a copy of the album when it's officially released on the 14th of Feb.


Words and photography - Liz Amadi