Marksman Lloyd

Review: Marksman Lloyd at Babushka, Perth, 5 August 2016

A love letter to hip-hop.

Marksman Lloyd’s  Seven Laps single launch at Leederville’s Babushka bar was an ode to the genre of hip-hop. With a line-up packed full of great local artists, it was a night filled with cutting edge hip-hop and comedic antics from the likes of Beckon and Macshane.

There was an allure of hype in the venue as east coast rapper DEX – a last minute addition to the bill – hit the stage, citing his excitement at playing for Marksman. Sadly, as most opening sets go, the rapper’s enthusiasm wasn’t matched in the crowd, with most of his efforts coming off a little short. Smashing out Limitless with a hardy zest, DEX at least gained the admiration of a few punters who nodded sparingly to his beats.

Beckon and Macshane were up next, coming off as more comedy duo than serious hip-hop act. With their banter and onstage charisma, the set had maximum chill-vibes. The duo almost hit disaster territory when the borrowed laptop from DEX locked itself with the password nowhere to be found. The password soon turned up, however, and Beckon and Macshane demonstrated their rap game by artistically weaving every little quirk of the night into their lyrics.

Anders’ set served up some carefully laden blues. Armed solely with a guitar, his set felt like a pleasing break from the hip-hop and added a hint of variety to the night. As he crooned, every track felted like an aged and crusty poem embedded with the swing beat of his acoustic guitar and bluesy off-beats.

Another hip-hop duet came into the fray with Coin Banks and Alex Ford wordsmithing in unison; Ford ripping into a rap from the get-go and Coin Banks providing the odd quick-paced remark throughout. It was a big-sound style of rap, laced with a tenacity and determination obviously felt by the crowd as they thrashed up and down to the rhythm.

The crowd had now started to coalesce around the stage with the anticipation of Marksman Lloyd. Lloyd’s set was unconventional, and halfway through the set it became apparent the crowd were starring in the Seven Laps video. Playing the chorus three times for three takes, the crowd danced hard for their fifteen minutes of fame – that or this review became serious metafiction.

Thanking everyone for their Oscar-grade performances, Lloyd jumped straight into the rest of his set. The gig itself felt very much like a love letter to his career as a rapper, with Lloyd thanking his parents and fans for their support. It was seriously optimistic, melting even the coldest of nihilist hearts.

The live band which bolstered the heavy, bursting sound behind his lyrics gave Lloyd’s set an audible backbone. His hip-hop became increasingly dynamic and enthusiastic towards the end of his set. Standing on speakers, tossing out t-shirts to merchandise-hungry punters and even jumping in the crowd itself to rap amongst the audience – the Seven Laps single launch definitely showed Lloyd’s appreciation and deeper love for the craft of hip-hop.

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