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Live Review: Loyle Carner @ Enmore Theatre

24 July 2023 | 9:40 am | Shaun Colnan

Loyle Carner impressed upon his audience a love of life and a need to be thankful for what he said and rapped. 

Loyle Carner

Loyle Carner (Source: Supplied)

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“It’s a special place – you rap along to every line. You know the right moments.” These are the words shared by London MC Benjamin Gerard Coyle-Larner, better known as Loyle Carner. Carner treated a packed-out Enmore Theatre to a second night of his distinctly lyrical flow, accompanied by a band that melded jazz, hip hop and RnB in a bouncy yet meditative set.

Now 28, Carner showed his mature mindset on tracks like Homerton, a homage to his son, named for the hospital in which he was born.

“Man, I miss my son so much. He’s almost three now. I miss him so much.” He said as he dove into the lyric, a slow and pensive track that instilled some of the lessons he’s learned in life and revered the people in his life who have got him where he is.

His humility and tender connection to the people he loves is cemented as he says, “This is my dad speaking here.” The final lines of the track, a vocal sample: “The parents need their kids more than the kids need the parents.”

Carner continued the humble reverence when he brought a fan up on stage who had seen him all over England “in places you probably never heard of” and made his way to Perth to see his favourite rapper. “He’s like me,” Carner said as fan and artist stood side by side, “except taller and more cut.”

The rapper played most of his 2022 LP, hugo, perhaps a little darker and with more of a drive than his previous work, before he launched into his “favourite song I’ve written.” That was Still from his popular release Not Waving, But Drowning. “There’s this toxic image of a man that people are expected to fit, and I didn’t fit that…I’m really lucky that my mum taught me how to understand my emotions…If you’re going through shit, talk to people…Please speak. Please speak.” It was a profound and genuine message which seems to permeate his music.

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In that vein, Carner paid homage to some of those homies: Tom Misch on tracks like Angel and Damselfly and Madlib on the track he produced from hugoGeorgetown. He impressed upon his audience a love of life and a need to be thankful both for what he said and what he rapped. 

Earlier, Irish rapper Kojaque, aka Kevin Smith, showed his verve and unique blend of groovy hip hop with tracks like his recent release BAMBI and others from his 2021 release Town's Dead. Kojaque had a great deal of performative pzazz, adding to a vibrant lyrical performance.