When Kanye West announces a surprise show in London, his fans react by selling out the venue that same night and turning up with a few hours notice.
In return, Yeezy brought Big Sean, Vic Mensa, Skepta and Wu-Tang-Clan’s Raekwon, among others, out to perform with him in the capital.
To say the atmosphere inside Camden’s KOKO was electric, is an understatement on all counts. Despite soundcheck delays and a start time of 01:00, crowds occupied themselves by singing football chants and keeping spirits high.
Cheers circled the surrounding streets as guest stars pulled up at the venue’s guest entrance, with all signs pointing to a night we’d never forget.
All bets were off the minute British grime artist, and regular Kanye collaborator, Skepta stormed the stage with That’s Not Me. The room erupted with every inch of the floor moving and bodies near-swinging from the chandeliers. The Tottenham rapper quickly steered the set into German Whip with help from Boy Better Know, as Kanye was spotted bouncing side-stage.
For a show that only had a few hours warning, no one dared anticipate Kanye’s setlist. How long would he even play for? But for anyone who feared they wouldn’t hear his biggest hits, Yeezy diced the performance with Jesus Walks, Power and Of All The Lights.
All Day was even performed twice in straight succession, as Kanye and co did a scaled down version of their BRIT Awards appearance to close the set.
It may’ve been Kanye heading up proceedings, but the two-hour set saw Big Sean, Skepta and Vic Mensa share equal helpings of the limelight. Kanye didn’t hesitate to adopt the hype man role as he bounced around them, instead, climbing speakers and spraying the stage with water.
As if there weren’t enough special guests for one night, Kanye spoilt fans with one more surprise appearance by welcoming Wu-Tang-Clan’s Raekwon to the stage. A penultimate take on C.R.E.A.M. was met by a roar fierce enough to lift the roof.
It’s one thing to capture the night on social media, but as anyone inside KOKO will (probably, happily) tell you, the night conducted the kind of euphoria that can’t be completely captured on a camera phone.
Beyond TV appearances and Twitter feeds, tonight was a show for hip hop fans to relish in. When Kanye West plays Camden on a Tuesday night without warning, his fans turn out in force.
Were you one of the lucky fans who got tickets for Kanye West’s surprise KOKO gig? Let us know what you thought at @TicketmasterUK using #tmBlog.