Live Review: Brad Strut - Laundry Bar

26 June 2012 | 6:49 pm | Aleksia Barron

Surreal & Feva Pres open the show with some slick a cappella verses before dropping a couple of tracks from their respective upcoming mixtapes. The night is off to a seriously good start – both MCs show serious lyrical talent and plenty of creativity. Host 'Alex' of The Big Issue is a brilliant addition to the night, injecting the crowd with plenty of enthusiasm between sets. One of Melbourne's most promising newcomers, P-Link is up next, launching his debut solo EP, In My Element. His set is outstanding, lashings of youthful energy and passion, tempered with genuine natural talent. He's ferocious, and not at the expense of skill. By the end of his set, everyone in the room is talking about him.

Adelaide's K21 steps up, dropping some tracks from his recent debut album, Single Minded Civilian. The former Hilltop Hoods Initiative winner impresses with his sharp delivery and relaxed physicality onstage, not to mention his ability to keep the gig going even when a punter collapses two metres away from the stage. The show must go on and go on it does, with Heata and Trem hitting the decks to spin some wax, giving everyone time to smoke and get beers before the big finish.

The room positively crackles with excitement when Brad Strut takes the stage. His form is impeccable – lyrics are delivered sharply and crisply, with obvious passion. Blue lights, naturally, are demanded from the desk before Never Ending Blue, much to the delight of the crowd. There's a sense of brilliance in the room, a feeling that this show is special. After all, Strut is a pioneer of Australian hip hop, and his strong stage presence has been honed over a long career. Tornts jumps up on stage, not to drop a verse, but to stand alongside Strut and show his support for the LC crew.

Strut plays the crowd like a violin, whipping them into a frenzy. He never falters. In fact, he makes rhyming look deceptively easy. (The punters attempting to rap along with him prove that it isn't.) He can't resist giving the speaker suspended from the ceiling a push: you can bet that if there were a chandelier on stage, he'd be swinging from it. Trem joins Strut on stage and the audience is thrilled by the mini-reunion of Lyrical Commission, especially when they drop a few choice tracks including the excellent Incite The Premises. Finally, Strut announces, “I like to play board games!” before closing the set with an outstanding rendition of Monopoly. It's a strong finish to a truly memorable gig.

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