SXSW Music Review: Boy Better Know Collective

London grime collective seizes Seventh Street

Boy Better Know, a grime collective from the United Kingdom best known for JME and Skepta, revels in solidarity. Headlining halfway across the world from his London home, Frisco (Deshane Cornwall) turned in a pungent, boisterous culmination to Tuesday night’s 13-act installation at Scratchouse.

Frisco (Photo by Gary Miller)

As host and showcase co-promoter, he stood inside the fluctuating capacity crowd nodding happily in approval for the highly interactive performance of English singer-songwriter Tiggs da Author (Adam Muhabwa) halfway through the run of talent.

“Your set is going so well, I want you to carry on,” announced Frisco onstage as he gave TDA more shine in his Austin debut.

In front of the stage, a contingent of Londoners transformed the venue into a FA Cup Final at Wembley, chanting and jumping proudly to every song. More Americans crept into the venue for the bass-heavy, obnoxious SXSW debut of Austin rapper Shirt Off Fe, but stayed for the impressive display put on by 22-year-old London grime artist Novelist (Kojo Kankam). The MC’s sharp flow prompted a few attendees to jot down his name.

Afterward, set times disregarded, BBK members Frisco, Jammer (Jahmek Power), and Shorty (Aaron Lawrence) performed a few posse cuts such as “Athlete,” a track full of dark synths and heavy basslines that caused the air vents to scratch and creak. Out of nowhere, seemingly every performer from the night suddenly stood onstage, freely letting off entire rounds while dancing in front of a wild audience like Jesse Lingard at the Emirates. Mic issues and poor acoustics muddied vocals, but not many cared.

For one night, Grime took over Seventh Street. The energy in the room caused rainfall outside upon the end of a crazily frenetic showcase.


Frisco

Tuesday, March 12, 12:55am, Scratchouse

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
The Hidden Cost of Labor Calculated in <i>Building the American Dream</i>
The Hidden Cost of Labor Calculated in Building the American Dream
In the rubble of the NOLA hotel collapse, Chelsea Hernandez's documentary remains relevant

Richard Whittaker, Dec. 6, 2019

Patty Griffin on Her Battle With Breast Cancer and New Album
Patty Griffin on Her Battle With Breast Cancer and New Album
Local songwriter rises through the fire

Doug Freeman, March 29, 2019

More by Derek Udensi
Riders Against the Storm Hit Their Stride With <i>Flowers for the Living</i>
Riders Against the Storm Hit Their Stride With Flowers for the Living
Three-time winners of the Austin Music Awards' Band of the Year honors keep building community and creativity

Feb. 26, 2021

New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
What we’re listening to

Feb. 26, 2021

KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

Boy Better Know, SXSW 2019, SXSW Music 2019, Frisco, JME, Skepta, Deshane Cornwall, Tiggs da Author, Adam Muhabwa, Novelist, Kojo Kankam, Jammer, Jahmek Power, Shorty, Aaron Lawrence

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle