Example, Koko, London

Click to follow
The Independent Culture

"I wanna see someone jump off the balcony for this one," 28-year-old Fulham rapper Example (aka Elliot Gleave, who took his stage name from his initials EG) says mischievously.

Intensely bright lights expose the few twenty and thirty-somethings populating Koko's upper levels, who he cheekily dubs "lazy". He takes a pause during the build-up of teen-friendly chantalong "Hooligans" to double-dare 'em. "If you do," he smiles, "you'll get a free T-shirt."

It's the perfect level of naughtiness to entertain the heaving swell of teens on the lower level. Having leapt about in unison almost non-stop since the set kicked-off with the No 1 hit and title track from his second album, "Won't Go Quietly", the fresher-style enthusiasm never abates.

With barely a nod to the jokey hip-hop of his intriguing 2007 debut album What We Made, this is a set that wears its newly focussed commercial intentions on its sleeve.

Maybe it's the consistent stream of 2010 summer-soundtrack dance anthems taking the crowd back to those half-cut, sunstruck nights in Newquay that keeps them under Example's spell. Or perhaps it's his pop diversity, as he vacillates between clean-cut drum'n'bass on "Dirty Face", rave beats, accessible dubstep, and the creatively monikered "dysfunctional electropop".

Whatever it is, it triumphs. The performance is almost too easy for Example and his three bandmates. "Scream," he says, with false boredom, and the response is deafening. "Sing!" he demands, and his voice is drowned out. However, aggro-infused performances of ordinarily unremarkable lyrics on such songs as "From Space" display fervour that is the undeniable fuel for the fire in the crowd.

Encoring with the massive summer singles "Watch the Sun Come Up" and "Kickstarts", there's no denying that there's a lot of love in the room, and it's all directed towards the stage. For a fun, feel-good night out, look no further than Example.