With N’fa Jones, former frontman of 1200 Techniques, first on the bill at the Northcote Social Club on Friday night, you’d think people would have made their way down early to check out one of the best lyricists to ever come out of Aussie hip hop.
The small crowd took some time to move out of the dark back corners of the room, but N’fa’s energetic performance got everyone out of their shell right in time for a call and response in “Fire” – a track produced by M-Phazes featuring Roots Manuva. As N’fa free styled over a beat produced by drummer Jsmith the room started to fill.
His incredible lyricism prompted quite a few handshakes and high fives from crowd members. Ending the set with single “March On”, those who walked in last minute were left wanting more of the funky hip hop beats.
There seemed to be mad hype for 21 year old rapper Allday as the crowd piled into the room just in time for him to take the stage. Opening with the laidback 90s summer beat of “The City” from his most recent EP, A Skateboard Soiree, it became clear fast that the hype was warranted.
With his own skinny white boy swag, Allday captivated the crowd with rhymes about getting drunk and high in his former home of Adelaide. Midway through the set he churned out a series of raps over beats like “Ni**as in Paris”, “Black & Yellow” and “A Milli” getting the crowd into even more of a frenzy.
Allday won’t have to worry about “this rap shit” not working out, as he mentioned before launching into “Oxford” (off his first release Soon I’ll Be In Cali), if he keeps bringing his cool 90s vibe and energy on stage with him.
The anticipation for the release of headliner Diafrix’s debut album Pocket Full of Dreams last month was matched by the crowd as they waited for Momo and Azmarino to kick off the first of two hometown dates on their album tour.
Joined by three backup singers, they launched straight into “Light Will Shine (To Be Me)”, a heavy track produced by M-Phazes which was complimented beautifully by the soulful harmonies provided by the backing vocalists. The boys were so happy and energetic throughout the set, something that permeated throughout the crowd who got right into the party vibes.
Pocket Full of Dreams is set to be one of the best Australian releases of the year, and it translates just as well in a live setting. Much of the crowd were surprised to see Momo singing as well as rapping throughout the set, his smooth soulful vocals added another dimension to the songs that you don’t get in the recordings.
Highlights of the set included “Easy Come, Easy Go” and “I’m A Dreamer” (which features 360 on record). The audience’s hype grew as the DJ dropped the beat to the song that launched Diafrix onto national airwaves in 2011, “Simple Man”. The only disappointment of the night was the fact that they didn’t play the sexy, grimy “Helicopter” live, instead the DJ played it as the set ended and the lights started to come back on.
Despite this, Diafrix put on a great show and definitely left the crowd in high spirits for whatever their Friday night had left in store.