Labrinth – Parklife 2012 review

Labrinth at Snowbombing 2012 by Anna Hyams
Labrinth at Snowbombing 2012 by Anna Hyams


“Last time I came to Parklife was my first ever gig at a festival,” Labrinth says. “I want to thank every single person stood there in the mud. I’m gonna come down there to party with you guys after the show because you guys are the fucking best!”

Can you feel the love? The crowd sure can and when he later catapults himself into their welcoming arms, so too can ubér-talented 23-year-old Timothy McKenzie.

He famously produced and co-wrote Tinie Tempah’s debut single ‘Pass Out’ – winning both a BRIT and an Ivor Novello Award in 2011.

He’s gracious enough to give it an airing because he knows we love it – that and other Tinie Tempah collaborations ‘Frisky’ and ‘Earthquake’.

But it’s when he does his own material that Labrinth truly shines – none more so than on ‘Express Yourself’ – sampling the original by Charles Wright & the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band, which was in turn sampled by N.W.A. in 1988. Just like Kayne ‘Gold Digger’ West, Labrinth has the super-cool ability to take something intrinsically belonging to someone else and make it his very own.

He does it again with the filthily erotic ‘Sundown’ – sampling Joni Mitchell’s sweetly innocent ‘Big Yellow Taxi’. Last summer at Hop Farm in Kent – he played a mid-afternoon fixture in a pleasantly full (though by no means capacity) sideshow tent. Fast-forward nearly 12 months and now the audience knows every lyric to globe-trotting ode ‘One Moment to Another’ and his mega debut single ‘Let the Sun Shine’ – proof that Labrinth is emerging as an established star in his own right

With his own unique brand of bass-driven ‘stadium hip hop’; the ability to strap on a guitar and let rip – and the backing of Syco – the boy from Hackney is a future headliner contender.



Click here for our full Parklife 2012 coverage.

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