Friday 15 November 2019

Skepta treats Wireless crowd to energetic headline performance

The rapper was joined on stage by brother JME and Lethal Bizzle.

Skepta (Ben Birchall/PA)
Skepta (Ben Birchall/PA)

By Jack Hardy, Press Association

Grime star Skepta marshalled a line-up of urban royalty during a homecoming set at Wireless Festival in north London.

The Mercury Prize-winning artist – who hails from Tottenham – ushered artists including Boy Better Know counterpart JME and Lethal Bizzle to the stage as he topped the billing in Finsbury Park.

The 34-year-old, real name Joseph Adenuga, filled out an energetic slot with hits including That’s Not Me and Shutdown in front of thousands of sun-kissed fans.

Tens of thousands of music lovers packed out the site in baking sunshine, accompanied by a host of stars including Kylie and Kendall Jenner.

Stage invaders claimed two of the afternoon’s most memorable moments, carving out a role during two setpiece performances.

First, up-and-coming grime artist Dave was rushed by a fan after he told the crowd fellow rapper AJ Tracey was not in attendance to perform hit Thiago Silva alongside him.

The fan was allowed to fill in for the absent artist’s verse, before telling those packing out the Pepsi Max Stage: “This guy (Dave) got me through my nan dying, he got me through my parents divorcing.”

To raucous cheers, he concluded: “He helped get me into Cambridge University to study medicine.”

As dusk drew in, Dave’s act of generosity was mirrored by US star Travis Scott, who waylaid security as they dragged a stage invader off site.

Guiding the topless man to the front of the crowd, he launched him into the masses as he began singing crowd favourite Goosebumps.

Earlier, Lethal Bizzle filled in for grime stalwart Wiley, who had to pull out “due to delays with his travel plans”, organisers said on social media.

He established his presence on the event quickly, urging those watching to throw up their middle fingers at other festival-goers around the globe.

Revellers had been greeted by a beefed up security operation at this year’s event after the capital was targeted in a wave of terror atrocities.

Airport style measures were installed at the gates, with those attending required to place valuables in transparent plastic bags before walking through metal detectors.

The annual event is based in Finsbury Park, close to where Muslim worshippers were run down in a terror attack on June 19.

PA Media

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