Opening tonight’s show are all girl 4-piece Fe-nix. For those of you who have never heard of Fe-nix they are Jade, Tanya, Ayshan and local girl Priceless from Wolverhampton. The moment they take there positions on the stage they have the male audience’s attention as all four members have model good looks that could happily grace the covers of any glamour magazine. Got My Swagger opens the first of the girls’ 3 songs as they dance and pout in synch to the beat. You Take My Breath Away and debut single Lady Baby are well received by this capacity crowd.
Next up is R&B singer/songwriter/producer Steve Hoeng. From the moment he starts singing you can tell that this guy has a serious amount of talent. He sings smooth, fast and his voice is totally radio friendly. Addicted To Love is a classic smooth number and One Last Try shows off Steve’s oriental influence as he’s the first Chinese artist to breakthrough the R&B market with his 2007 album ‘This Is Me’. He asks the audience ‘shall we bring out some sexy ladies?’ Two female dancers position themselves either side of Steve and move perfectly in time to the rhythm – this was a well choreographed move.
Next artist Tinchy Stryder whipped this already hyper crowd up from the moment he took to the stage. All the people around me were all jostling to get a better view of him. I had seen many people walking around wearing Star In The Hood t-shirts and hoodies and must confess I didn’t have a clue what they meant. Star In The Hood was his debut album released in 2007. ‘Stryderman’ and ‘Free 16’ got the crowd singing along. People around were singing and dancing, no more so when Tinchy launched into Take Me Back, the single released in January 2009. Tinchy’s new album is due for release in late July and judging by his performance here tonight most of the crowd will be buying it.
The house lights dim as chants of N-Dubz, N-Dubz fill the room. This is the moment everyone in the packed Birmingham Academy tonight has waited for – some people waited 3 hours outside to get near the stage as the N-Dubz sell-out Uncle B [dedicated to Dappy’s late father and Tulisa’s Uncle] UK tour arrives in Birmingham. Dappy, Fazer and Tulisa – the dynamic trio that make up N-Dubz – arrive on stage and the noise is deafening. I Swear opens the set and from that moment on I knew this was going to be a high octane fuelled show. The audience sang along as soon as they recognised the songs and ‘Better Not Waste My Time’ ‘Feva Las Vegas and ‘Strong Again’ had the crowd going wild. During the breaks between each song there was a lot of interaction between the trio and the crowd. I thought this was fantastic as it made everyone feel as one.
N-Dubz sound as good live as on record. Tulisa has a very good voice. ‘Defeat You’ and ‘Love For My Slum’ show this fact off. Dappy And Fazer know how to work it. They launch into ‘Sex’ with Dappy saying “I’m gonna get some Birmingham Pussy”! This was greeted with screams from the female fans. “Papa Can You Hear Me?’ And ‘No 1’ close the show which is rather a befitting way as N-Dubz were number 1 tonight, and, if Uncle B is watching over them, he would have been a very proud man tonight because N-Dubz honoured his memory with a terrific show.
Set List – N- Dubz
1. I Swear
2. You Better Not Waste My Time
3. Feva Las Vegas
4. Strong Again
5. Defeat You
7. Public Transport (Interlude)
8. Love For My Slum
9. Don’t Get Nine
10. Would’nt You/ Secrets
14. Papa Can U Hear Me?
15. Number 1
Review – Ian Dunn
Photos – Karl Bright