Riz MC premieres content from his forthcoming album MICroscope at interactive two-night party. Review by Craig Jenkins
Sadlers Wells‘ Lilian Bayliss studio was transformed this weekend into an underground laboratory as Riz MC took us through a microscopic study of bacteria, music and culture, drawn from his upcoming album MICroscope.
The suitably titled MICroscope was a live and interactive performance from actor, MC, and socio-political wordsmith Riz Ahmed. It placed the audience inside a metaphorical Petri dish and pressed it to question society, politics, world news and whether it’s better to be cool or friendly? (I was forced by friends to vote ‘cool’).
Woven in and out of the social experiments was music that spoke for itself and could easily have set off a chemical explosion – had this been a standard Friday night gig. Tracks such as All in the Ghetto and Jump on it with their thumping bass-lines and infectiously catchy lyrics have now become strong additions to my iPod, (move aside The XX and Chaka Khan), and Sour Times showcases Riz as not only a house party must, but also a thought provoking social commentator.
The accompanying comperes were stymied by some flat attempts at comedy but took it back with a stunning freestyle inspired by words from the audience. They even managed to weave in my shout of Tangerine!
The night ended with a stroke of Crystal Maze inspired genius. A bank-robbery style free for all – with audiences ducking to avoid setting off infra-red beams and leaping to catch showers of falling money.
My only criticism of MICroscope would be the venue. With a no drinks inside the auditorium policy, the night lacked the freedom and vigour of your standard grime gig and made it all seem a little too controlled.
However, MICroscope will be released . . . soon and is set to tour in 2010, so keep your scientific goggles peeled, it’s worth the wait!