It was by chance I discovered one of my favourite artists Angel Haze was playing the Academy in Dublin. There was very little publicity about the tour (and later I found out why) and I only realised when it popped up on Spotify. I was so keen to see her that I used my emergency credit card (well this was an emergency!)
Angel Haze burst onto the hip-hop scene with her debut album album Dirty Gold. She has since split from her label and released her new mixtape Back to the Woods. I only began listening to this a few days before the gig as I knew these songs would be featuring. I loved the Dirty Gold which is a deeply personal album. At the time I was listening to it I was having some personal problems. I can honestly say this album really helped me, music is the best form of therapy. When I was feeling bad I would either go for a run listening to it or listen to it at night when I couldn’t sleep.
Back to the Woods is quite different but very easy to listen to. Even though I’d only listened to it a couple of times I knew most of the songs before the gig. Following the acrimonious split from Island Records, she has said she “hates” some of the Dirty Gold songs so I guessed they wouldn’t be featuring in the show! (Plus she favourited my tweet saying I was listening to Back to the Woods..almost died!)
The intimate surrounds of the Academy’s Green room played host to Haze and her support acts Californian rapper Devmo and Cork indie act Talos. Devmo was the ideal warm-up act and it was great to see a female rap artist as support. Her cheeky personality really comes across well on stage. I particularly enjoyed her rendition of “Take me to Church.”
Talos seemed very subdued compared to Devmo’s energy yet singer Eoin French’s falsetto vocal is incredible.
Tk Kayembe who produced Back to the Woods took to the stage as DJ and hypeman around 9pm. Angel Haze herself almost sneaked on stage, all dressed in black.
“The more energy you give to me, the more I’ll give to you!” she announced to the crowd. As I’d speculated, the set was dominated by Back to the Woods songs. “Moonrise Kingdom” is one of my favourite songs from BTTW.
For “Moonrise Kingdom” and “Detox” Haze selected two girls from the crowd to dance and flirt with on stage. She also hopped down into the crowd at one point.
“The Woods” was a visceral powerful performance. The song details Haze’s abuse by her brother and how her mother turned a blind eye to it. This song shows off both Haze’s singing ability and her rapping. “Impossible” and “The Eulogy” were also impressive performances.
Haze’s most famous song “Battlecry” was the only “Dirty Gold” song that Haze performed to the rapturous crowd. “Would I be a dick if I didnt play Battlecry?!” she asked the audience. The answer was a resounding yes!
“Werkin Girls” also produced by Kayembe had the entire crowd rapping along.
Haze then thanked the crowd saying a lot of people doubted her ability to undertake the tour and told the fans she was here because of them. Haze is playing 40 cities across Europe without the support of a label hence the lack of publicity. In fact when I read the Academy’s listings in the paper, her gig didn’t even appear which is a travesty!
She was signing CDs after the gig but I was too broke to buy one! From what I saw on social media, lots of lucky people got to meet her and take a photo. She seems really appreciative of her fans and very gracious.
The gig was really reasonably priced with tickets only €20 including booking fee. Money well spent in my opinion. 🙂 Hope you all enjoyed this post, let me know if you were at the gig or if you’re an Angel Haze fan. I have lots of exciting posts coming up on the blog, my next one will be one the sneaker trend. Thanks for reading as always, if you’re having any difficulty leaving a comment, just click the grey speech bubble in the bottom right hand corner.