You have seen Courtney in the pit and all over a venue but his latest show has him in the crowd to take in music from TE Dness in his headline show in celebration for his tape ‘Trap Nominated’ and as he can’t help but have a camera in hand as anything can happen he lets us know how his experience was on the evening.
With all photography by Courtney F Photo of course!
After finally finding a parking space, I was standing by my car, deciding whether to carry my backpack with my gear or ditch the bag and carry everything on me. I was on my way to a sold out show and carrying a big backpack can be a nuisance. I decided to carry my lenses and made my way to the Hoxton Bar and Kitchen venue. I’ve shot there multiple times and I’m fond of the lighting so I was looking forward to a visually good show. Getting closer to the venue, I saw what I’ve seen on social media in the days leading up to this event. A matt green coloured Bentley with graphics all over which shows everyone the name of the project that shares the name of the headline show by the West London artist, TE Dness.
Trap Nominated was released in the 4th quarter of 2016 and has sparked an interest in new listeners as well as giving his long time fans another example of this talent. When I first heard EU Referendum in the days after the UK getting an eviction notice to leave the European Union, I knew that TE was gearing up for something great. Since then, following Girlfriends, a single with singer Moelogo, TE Dness announced his headline show and tickets didn’t last too long.
As I got my wristband for a show that have been sold out since new years day, looking around, I saw some familiar faces. My cousin being one of them. There were people wearing Trap Nominated t-shirts and jackets, groups of friends were speaking about their favourite tracks and the queue was building. After being assured by the sound engineer that the levels were fine and I didn’t need ear plugs, I found my position in the crowd which would enable me to get my preferred types of shots. Making sure that a bunch of short girls were in front of me so I can see the stage, I waited for the first act.
Knucks is someone I need to become more familiar with. Often hearing his music on Ralph Hardy’s radio shows, I haven’t listened too deep into his catalogue. However, there is a track where he samples one of my favourite Anita Baker songs that made me drive a little faster on the M1 when I heard it.
Recently reading an interview with Knucks I found out that he’s still in uni and that has had an affect on the amount of music he has released. Fair dues. University is a mad ting that requires focus and time so props to him for advancing his education. After his performance and the other support acts (STKS & Rickashay), it was time for the main event.
I’ve seen TE perform multiple times and one thing you can always expect is energy. I attend a fair amount of shows and I’m a firm believer that it is the responsibility of the performer to dictate the energy in the room. Fair enough if you’re a soul singer, it not expected for you to be screaming “put your hands in the air”, but if your a rapper who makes songs for clubs, it necessary to bring the dynamic energy on stage and have that filter down to the crowd.
TE Dness has no problems in that area. By the second line into the chorus of the first song, he was jumping around the stage and displaying a unrivaled sense of joy. You just had to look at the smile on his face to understand how much this meant to him. As he went in to the 2nd song, the bomber jacket came off but the energy went up. A few day one fans were shouting the lyrics back to the stage and crowd was feeling the vibe.
Being aware that his audience includes a fair amount of women as well as the mandem, he drew into his repertoire and performed songs that had the ladies singing along as he rapped about his experiences in relationships. TE has always be open in his music. Never being ashamed to be vulnerable and express his feelings towards the women in his life through song.
The night had its share of surprises. Guest appearances from Moelogo, Scorcher, Lauren Ackie and Section Boyz kept the levels high and gave TE time to catch his breath in between powerful performances.
Talking about powerful performances, when Solo, Zeeks, Emak. Big 6ix and the rest of the mandem stepped on stage to perform some crowd favourites, the place got so loud, DJ Shorty Bless had no option to reload the songs. Even when the reload occurred at the 3rd verse of a song, being the skilled DJ that he is, Shorty Bless was able to cue the song and start exactly where the rapper left off. These things need to be recognized. The display of excitement and comradery on the stage was brilliant. The crowd were motivated and the movement increased. Gun fingers and yells of appreciation filled the venue. It was a great thing to be a part of.
Drawing the show to a close, TE Dness jumped into the crowd and was embraced by his supporters. It seems strange to think that this is his first headline show. Considering how much good music he has released through the years. But here we were, experiencing this new feeling with him. One that I’m sure he will never forget.
After the lights came one and we made out way out of the venue, I was happy that I didn’t wear my heavy bag. A few pleasantries outside of the bar made me realise that people from all over the city was here tonight. It was great to see the power of music bring people together. Stepping out of the road to allow the show offs in their fast cars to wheel-spin for no reason, I made my way back to my car. The sweat on my back felt like ice in the 0.5 degree air as I checked my insta feed to witness how many other people enjoyed the show. TE Dness might have been Trap Nominated, but tonight, he definitely won the award.
Courtney is always at live events so if you want to hear other stories of how these nights go head to his page and read a story