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Last time Labrinth performed in Cardiff he was performing a small PA set in a nightclub, now the singer-songwriter from is back in Cardiff at the sold out Solus. Since his last stint in Cardiff the Hackney born singer has received astonishing chart success with both his singles ‘Sunshine’ and ‘Earthquake’.

Now Labrinth is touring the country and is headlining his first tour, the audience is filled with enthusiastic high pitch teens who rushed to the front of the arena to show love for the producer turned artist. Kicking of the show is a relatively new artist called Dot Rotten, who done a fantastic job of getting the crowd warmed up. Having already been played on Radio 1, the audience are aware of the grime scene rapper from his participation in the 2011 Children In Need single, which also featured Chipmunk, Rizzle Kicks and Labrinth.

As the lights come down, the electrifying screams from the crowd is a signal that the wait is now over. As Labrinth bursts on stage, the audience are in a frenzy for the young star. Performing notable fan favourites including ‘Express Yourself’, ‘Oh My God’ and Tinie Tempah’s ‘Pass Out’ each song receives a great reaction. Labrinth’s approach is pretty mainstream, currently signed to Simon Cowell’s SYCO label in the UK and the first non-talent show artist who has been in six years. It is brazenly radio-friendly pop, but it is a refreshing sort of pop, a pop inflected with the catchiest choruses and the most listenable elements of R&B, hip-hop and trance, executed with enthusiasm.

Previewing a variety of the tracks that are to be on his debut album ‘Electronic Earth’, Labrinth’s ambidexterity was incredible. He wasn’t just singing or rapping his way through the set, he was performing, interacting, playing guitar and excellently entertaining the audience. And ending the night with his two biggest singles didn’t matter as even the unreleased material was so relevant everyone could instantly sing and dance. ‘Let the sunshine’ created a deafening sing-along from the Cardiff crowd however, The moshpits were shaken up for one last time with the absolutely extraordinary ‘Earthquake’. The room erupted, hands flew, and sweat poured to the end the night on an excellent high.

Words and photo: Mike Lewis