My top 10 gigs of all time

“I can see clearly now the rain is gone…gone are the dark clouds that had me blind it’s gonna be a bright, sunshiny day”

I DOUBT Johnny Nash was only thinking about the weather when he wrote the above, but counting the days down to spring they, and the time I saw Jimmy Cliff sing them live during a miserable summer in Cardiff, come to mind.

As the dark clouds of January and February burn away my spring optimism is the promise of live music, getting underway right on cue this Sunday, March 1 with a live show from Maxi Priest on the first day of the season which is also Dydd Gwyl Dewi (Saint David’s Day). Continue reading

Biggie Smalls is still the illest

“That shit was the worst rhyme I ever heard in my life/’Cos the greatest rapper of all time died on March 9th”

A stencil of Biggie sprayed on a telephone exchange in Cathays, Cardiff

A stencil of Biggie sprayed on a telephone exchange in Cathays, Cardiff, Wales UK

FIVE* years since The Notorious BIG was shot dead in Los Angeles and his giant frame still looms large on hip hop.

Just as Canibus referred to the Big Poppa during his 1998 lyrical beef with LL Cool J, today New York is buzzing as Nas and Jay Z do battle – and both state their relationship to, and respect for, Biggie.

Nas scoffs at Jigga’s assertion that he is now the king of New York. But if it wasn’t for Biggie it would be a crown that had long since lost its shine. Continue reading