HMV Picture House, Edinburgh, Wed 3 Nov
‘I wanna get real deep with you right now,’ promises East London’s own Tinchy Stryder before his big number one hit of last year ‘Never Leave You’. Deep is relative, though. Here it translates almost exactly as ‘a bit like the heart-numbingly awful bits in X-Factor where they start getting all epic and tearful and start banging on about their bloody journey’. He may have stepped out of the grime scene, but Tinchy’s a pure pop star these days, and a fairly ordinary one at that.
He had the decency to turn up here with a full band, but the overwhelming backing track still made the show feel like a PA. This worked well when he was spitting an aggressive rhyme over a darker blend of grime and dubstep-aping sounds, for example on recent single ‘In My System’ and the thundering ‘Game Over’. Yet the biggest hits like ‘Never Leave You’ and his other chart-topper ‘Number 1’ sound like commercial radio filler, and it was interesting to note that some of the biggest cheers came for other people’s songs – covers of Example’s ‘Kick Starts’ and Olive’s ‘You’re Not Alone’, and a burst of Calvin Harris’ ‘I’m Not Alone’.