Hats off to opening act Rudimental. The Brit Award-winning eight-piece may not have had the frantic chanting of “We want Ed,” before, during, and after its set. But it delivered the sort of set that some headliners would prefer not to have. The band tore through tunes such as Feel the Love and Free with all the liquid funk fluidity its drum n’ bass n’ soul sound has in recordings. Already platinum-sellers in the UK and Australia, perhaps they can translate the Sheeran tour into their own breakout, because this crew was big fun.
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Bursting out of London’s underground music scene with its thrilling world of pirate radio, crude DJ set ups, improvised studios, and bleeding edge beats come Rudimental (Piers Aggett, Kesi Dryden, Amir Amor and Leon Rolle)
A pioneering melting-pot collective who have taken the British music scene by storm, championed for their uncompromising approach to music-making whilst avoiding rigid classification.
Taking a “traditional” songwriting approach as much as an electronic one in their music making, Rudimental mix live instrumentation (Hammond, Rhodes, horns, live bass etc) with digital programming. As Rudimental’s Piers says, “our sound is organic. It’s the result of years of raving, listening to pirate radio, listening to dubs, to tapes older brothers would bring home, and being inspired by all of it. We’re products of our individual musical journeys and of London”.
While Kesi (keyboard player/percussionist) is a self-confessed hip hop head, former Deja Vu FM DJ, Piers (Hammond, keys) names jazz and blues as influences alongside grime artists like Dizzee Rascal. Leon (DJ) remembers using his dinner money to purchase the latest vinyl and attributes the band’s success to an ability to retool and subvert the best of UK underground music (garage, grime, dubstep, drum & bass) in their own style. Fellow band mate Amir (guitar and keys), grew up in Camden and won a PRS song writing award in 2001. He spent the winnings on a guitar and via a mentoring scheme, met Plan B who taught him how to play his first chords aged 16. He went on to earn nods as one of NME ‘Top 20 Hottest Producers’. Amir says of the Rudimental sound: “The unifying thing is the soul influence and the bass influence, those two things are always there”
“Rudimental” (so-named after the Rudiments book of piano exercises Kesi’s music teacher drilled him on as a child) write as a group pulling from one another’s strengths. The result of this sound-clash style is bubbling with energy, with thick, layered basslines, live instruments, and contagious hooks that both reflects London and translates outside the city.