Wiley @ Cardiff students Union 5/2/17
As NME have just hailed Wiley as 2017’s ‘Outstanding Contribution to Music’ we thought we would reflect on his trip to Cardiff this month to see if he really is the real deal. Ladies and Gentlemen, the truth about Wiley from a hardcore metal head and grime novice…
You’re chatting to your best mate on the SU balcony in the early hours of Sunday morning when he offers you a press pass to see Wiley the following night. You’re a metal head who knows pretty much nothing about grime – you don’t even own a snapback – but you accept his proposal nonetheless. You are me, and you don’t end up regretting it.
First to the stage are Cardiff new blood Sonny Double 1 and Mace performing their respective tracks ‘Mo Farah’ and ‘It’s Mad’. Both bring outstanding energy to the venue, but that is rapidly eclipsed by a blistering half hour set from Astroid Boys. AB’s endless touring and innovative fusion of grime with metal riffs has amassed them a massive reputation over the past 6 years, and one which is well deserved. Keep an eye out for their debut album, that is if they ever get around to finishing it!
Scene veteran President T starts strong, with every tune dropped resulting in a massive mosh pit and a swift reload. After ten reloads in what feels like as many minutes – most of which aren’t even his own tracks – his performance begins to lose coherency, which unfortunately only draws more attention to the fact that he doesn’t have enough real bangers to fill a 45 minute slot.
“The Godfather of Grime” may seem like a rather masturbatory title at first, but Wiley demonstrates very quickly that he is deserving of it. Chart songs from his love-hate mainstream phase such as ‘Heatwave’ are nowhere to be found, instead he delivers a fierce onslaught of solid grime tracks, mostly from his critically acclaimed eleventh album ‘Godfather’. Big hitting tunes such as ‘Speaker Box’ and ‘Can’t Go Wrong’ result in frantic mosh pits and instant reloads, and a snippet of BBK’s ‘Too Many Man’ earns a raucous response from the crowd. All in all, the Godfather live is an experience I recommend to all, whether you’re a seasoned roadman or just a slightly hungover metalhead.