Dev Hynes Justifies The Hype With Blood Orange's exclusive 'fan-only' show
Nearly three years after the first Converse-curated gig took place at London’s legendary 100 Club, the much-hyped Blood Orange returned to his hometown to perform before a packed audience.
On the back of 2013’s
Cupid Deluxe, Devonte Hynes has been receiving a lot of love either side of the Atlantic for Blood Orange's sophomore effort - the culmination of a broad musical career which has spanned nearly a decade. As an artist he’s always hot on trend, be it as a founding member of the “punk dance” and ever-awkward Test Icicles, or the girlfriend’s-favourite Lightspeed Champion. It’s this breadth of sounds and styles that have contributed to the genre-defying music of Blood Orange, which is honestly as impressive live as it is on record. Hynes, whose set predominantly focused around the R&B numbers from
Cupid Deluxe (fractured only by
Coastal Grooves’ ‘Sutphin Boulvevard’ and B-side ‘Bad Girls’), took a few tracks to loosen up, but once he did his capabilities as a frontman are as noticeable as his Jagger-esque dance moves are flexible. From thrashing about with his guitar to venturing into the fashionista crowd, Hynes capabilities as an effortless entertainer were showcased throughout. Over the course of the evening Hynes was joined by Samantha Urbani (his girlfriend and Friends vocalist) on numerous tracks (‘You’re Not Good Enough’ a particular highlight), as well as now-more-free-time-than-I-care-to-admit Skepta on the brilliant Londoncentric ‘High Street’. Along with the guests, Blood Orange’s backing group each contributed to the performance in equal, and modest, measure. The standout moment was the trend-bucking solo from the group’s bassist, who left the walls of the venue and recently refurbished men’s toilets shaking as his fellow band members stopped their playing to cheer him on. The smaller venue perfectly suited the intimacy desired by Converse for their Live Series sessions, but as ‘Time Will Tell’ closed the set you knew that Blood Orange will be playing before much larger audiences next time he’s in London. 9/10