On May 24th 2012, Mikill Pane played his first headline concert to a sold out crowd at The Hoxton Bar and Grill, Support came from Ursa Minor, Little Bear.
Ursa Minor, Little Bear are a solid live band, creating loud, pulsating house based music that reverberated around the room, and through the audience. Little Bear had quite the stage presence, singing and dancing with a non-chalant energy that was enchanting to watch while the other three members provided an excellent soundscape to accompany the vocals.
Mikill Pane, backed by a full live band, took to the stage to a chorus of cheers, grinning like a Cheshire cat before confidently launching into the first track however it wasn’t until second track, an amazing rendition of 'Andy Warhol' that the party really got started. Apologising for Example’s absence from the gig, citing he was busy writing with Enrique Iglesias, Mikill and his band made sure that the Fulham rappers absence didn’t affect the intensity or vibrantsy of the track.
Two guests who could make it though were P Money and Fem Fel who joined Mikill Pane on stage for an explosive and extended run through of 'Hey Baby'. The constant flow of lyrics was only halted briefly for an uptempo dance breakdown before finishing with another flawless verse. With all three rappers jumping in on each other’s verses the song flowed beautifully and exploited the obvious talent that all three have.
Mikill Pane makes amazing dance led songs using catchy refrains and infectious melodies, as shown with ‘Summer in the City’ ,which got the packed room moving and swaying, and the two songs that Ben Clemo joined him onstage for. Clemo and Mikill performed two tracks from the Guinness and Blackcurrant EP, 'Golden' and 'I Can Feel It'. The latter being a ridiculously great track on record but live the killer dance beat and incredible flow are taken to another level aided by both the live drummer and Mikill Pane jumping on another set of drums. This dual drumming breakdown backed Clemo’s chorus perfectly as well as enhancing the tropical vibe of the song.
Where Mikill Pane really excels though is his ability to tell narratives through his songs. The high esteem that the crowd hold his lyrics in was apparent as everyone stood quietly and gave Mikill their undivided attention as he ran through a flawless version of ‘You Don’t Know Me’, an incredibly clever song that actually has something to say. The encore of the gig provided another example of his excellent ability to convey a story through song.
The encore consisted of just the one track and for it Mikill bought long time friend and collaborator Ed Sheeran onto the stage for a jaw dropping and electric run through of 'Little Lady', the track that first drew attention to Mister Pane. The whole room erupted in a mass sing-along of the chorus with Mikill elegantly and confidently recited the dark, twisting tale. The evening wasn’t done yet though, as Ed and XO then led the crowd in a rendition of Happy Birthday to Mikill Pane, who’d celebrated his 28th birthday a few days before. Mikill was clearly touched that he’d sold out the show and the reaction he’d received for his live show and at many points in the evening he made his gratitude known.
“When I say Mikill, you say Pane” was the call and response used to finish ‘The Return of Mister Pane’ and the main set, not that any of the crowd will be forgetting that name in a hurry. It’s a name you should be aware of as well as Mikill Pane has slowly and meticulously been establishing himself as one of countries best MCs and with his debut album ‘Blame Miss Barclay’ pencilled in to be released later this year he’s only going to go from strength to strength, and rightly so. His lyrical skill and ability to work a beat are second to none and his distinctive style and vocals really make him stand out from the scene.
Live he matched what he’s put down on record and bettered it. Prowling the stage with self-assurance that never ventures into arrogance he easily held the rooms attention with his lyrical flow, bolstered by a phenomenal live band that backed the vocals perfectly and gave the music an added dimension. Mikill Pane’s first headline show was an excellent showcase of the man’s talents and it felt more of a celebration of what’s Mikill has achieved so far, than a standard gig.
Words by Dip.
Edited by Thomas Coxhead.