Example Live @ The Royal Albert Hall For Teenage Cancer Trust
Friday 30th March 2012
Support from Fenech-Soler & Baller B
It’s fair to say I’ve seen a few Example sets – last night happened to be my 6th, and as much of a cliché as it will undoubtedly sound, each one gets better and better. Last time it was at Radio 1’s Student Tour at Hertfordshire Uni, so this time promised to be very very different. I’d never been to the iconic Royal Albert Hall, so I really didn’t know what to expect. I did laugh before I even got in, however. Greeted by the ticket woman, who whilst processing mine, asked, “Is this Example guy from America?” I took my wristband and replied, “Er, nah, Hammersmith.” But as you take the steps up into the standing area, you can’t help but strain your neck to see the unbelievably high galleries towering over you. This was going to be special.
With Fenech-Soler opening, they showcased just why they’re picking up a lot of attention. It may have just been me, but I couldn’t helped but think of them a turbo charged, darkened, electric Coldplay. If you hate Coldplay, then you’ll despise that comparison, but well, that’s what came to mind. Anyway, the ridiculously catchy hooks, mixed with the brilliantly produced, occasionally dark, beats, and proper energy exerted from the band, made for a great start to the night. You could really tell they were enjoying it, and there were emotional ties with the charity for them, after what happened in 2011. If you don’t know much about them, make sure you do soon, their second album will definitely be one to watch!
With it being Teenage Cancer Trust’s week of entertainment at The Royal Albert Hall, the evening took a few moments to watch a very moving video on the sort of people the amazing charity can, and does help. Then followed by another moving moment, this time from a live speech on stage from another person who thanked everyone for donating, and explained all the brilliant work Teenage Cancer Trust did for her and others.
Then on came Baller B, Example’s tour DJ, who played a pretty amazing mix of tracks, from Knife Party, to Jay Z and Kanye, to Flux Pavilion. To be honest, the longer I think about it, the more amazing tracks I remember him playing. Without saying a word, just hand and hair movements, he got everyone, let’s just say a little excited to see the main man himself, Example.
As Sheldrake, Johnny Drum Machine and David Stewart all took to The Albert Hall stage, amid a more post-puberty One Direction screaming environment, then opening track began playing out, ‘Skies Don’t Lie‘. Elliot ventured onto the stage, a stage which had only the night before, hosted Paul McCartney, and un-surprisingly began giving everything, as always.
Through a mix of the old tracks like the mentally ravey ‘See The Sea‘ and ‘Hooligans‘, including the Spor remix of that classic track, and the newer tracks like ‘Never Had A Day‘, ‘Midnight Run‘, and ‘Playing In The Shadows‘, Example and the band got the typically bouncy crowd response to whatever was heard. All but two people near me, who offered very occasional muscle movement, but who cares about them.
I don’t need to go through each song in the set, and tell you why it was amazing in its own way. Because it’d take ages, and you’d get bored, and or, jealous for not being there. But that was the one of the best atmospheres I’ve seen at an Example gig, closely behind his huge one at V Festival in the summer just gone. The atmosphere was obviously helped by all the energy put in by the 4 guys on stage, added to Example’s unique way to get everyone lightened up, at one point shouting, “Let’s do this for Queen Victoria!” Cue massive bouncing from everyone in the standing to the very top of the galleries.
At one stage, Elliot brought up The Sun’s comments about how he should be worried, with being in the shadows of Paul McCartney’s performance from the night before, they said “You wouldn’t want to be in Example’s trainers at London’s Royal Albert Hall tonight…” He noted that Paul is an undisputed legend, but said he thought we as a crowd could do better. Clearly I wasn’t at McCartney’s show, but I can’t imagine that at any point there was a crowd reaction like there was with ‘Changed The Way You Kissed Me‘.
The whole atmosphere of the night was what made it so unique. You could tell it meant a lot for all of them to be on that famous stage, giving off such a positive vibe, which suited the charities evening very well. It wasn’t a ‘guilt trip’ like Comic and Sport Relief can be on occasion. Obviously there were moving mentions of the brilliant work they do, but it felt just like a proper uplifting gig! The charity is a fully meaningful one, and the more the money they make, the more lives of people around my age that suffer from cancer, will be improved, without comparison. It was made clear how effective their work is, so much so that I ended up emptying my pockets into the donation buckets at the end.
To Capital FM, NME, American Airlines and all the other companies involved in supporting the shows Teenage Cancer Trust are throwing on at The Albert Hall, well done. So, yeah, everything about last night was pretty much perfect, and if you’re off to see Example on his upcoming huge arena tour, then seriously, you’re in for such a treat. It really is “opera at its finest.”