Voice of a generation Loyle Carner defies the lightning and brings the thunder

Posted on 11 July 2024
By Frank Ralph
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Manchester’s Children of Zeus brought the good vibes, street soul vocals and laid-back hip-hop beats to The Piece Hall to open the show for Loyle Carner on an evening where the weather was pleasant but was always threatening to turn drastically in an instant. 

They’ve missed a trick, as if they’d added an extra ‘L’ into their name and become Chilldren of Zeus it would be even more fitting. With a chilled approach and a timeless soulful sound, the extra ‘L’ wouldn’t be out of place. Putting their own bars over Notorious B.I.G.’s Big Poppa was a masterstroke, and they warmed the crowd up for the headliner with ease.  

“What the f@*k is happening here tonight?” asked Loyle midway through his set, he went on to say that this was the best show they’ve played in a long long time, and that must be put down to the energy that the crowd brought.  

Maybe the atmosphere had been supercharged by nearby lightning, which had delayed the start of the show by a good 20 minutes, and had threatened to even cancel the show, or maybe it was the passion and energy of Loyle who, in front of an incredible band was a ball of pent-up energy and love, but the fan reaction was next level. 

He’s one of the best to ever put pen to paper, and his way of telling deep and meaningful stories about subjects that matter puts him head and shoulders of many of his contemporaries. Little Simz is on his level and there are probably more, but much of this kind of music that appears in the charts is just drivel. This is not that. 

Whether it was jumping down to embrace a fan who had sung every word to ‘Ain’t Nothing Changed’ at the top of his voice, talking passionately about having had his 4-year-old son on tour with him recently or being speaking vulnerably about mental health issues he just came across as a great person. His flow when delivering lyrics is something you could listen to all night, and he doesn’t even need a beat behind him sometimes, as the moments he rapped acapella were outstanding. 

Soulful, intelligent, poetic and powerful. Loyle Carner is the voice of a generation that’s more open-minded about mental health, allows themselves to be seen to be vulnerable and wanting to change the narrative of previous generations. A must see.