When big name companies usually sponsor music events there is a definite ‘corporate’ feel to events filled with sponsored drinks or freebie one size fits all t-shirts. And they are good in their own way but not giving too much back. With Orange Rockcorps there is the obvious Orange and Blackberry branding but this time it is on the backs of music fans that are painting community centres or turning over earth for a public vegetable patch. Linking up with areas in need of manpower the respective fan of Snoop, Vampire Weekend or Tinie Tempah can work four hours in return for an exclusive and elusive gig ticket. ‘Give, Get Given’ as their slogan runs.

And for four hours giving a helping hand you get quite a lot. Tinie Tempah may have only just gathered attention with his dub infused hits ‘Pass Out’ and ‘Frisky’ but he definitely has had some practice at putting on a show. Throwing in a Lady Gaga ‘Bad Romance’ cover and having some pretty high energy levels he is the perfect opener for the night. Even without the crowd pleasing comparing from Alex Zane and DJ sets the crowd are pretty much up for the night, perhaps a heightened by the sense of having earned the tickets rather than splashing out cold hard cash on them. So once Tinie Tempah has stepped foot on the stage, got a sea of hands waving in the air and pretty much singing his lyrics for him the crowd knew the night is onto a winner.

Vampire Weekend‘s set is a little strange after the high-energy show of newbie Tempah. They flit through their set with minimal interaction with the crowd yet it isn’t really needed as ‘A Punk’, ‘Oxford Comma’ and ‘Cousins’ hit the spot. It’s a strange filling in the hip hop sandwich they find themselves in but Vampire Weekend manage to hold their own with the DJ helpfully playing MGMT before the set to point to a new genre addition.

But let’s not kid ourselves; there is only one person who everyone is here to see. Entering the stage first comes two heavyweight security guards dressed in tailored suits, followed by a full scale band. Music mounts, the crowd are screaming, someone is shouting in my ear ‘IS THAT HIM?’ (It isn’t, it’s the onstage drummer but this is the level of excitement that is being reached). As Snoop Dogg swags on stage it’s pretty hard to believe. A legend of huge proportions who has been allowed to return to the UK after 5 years there’s huge anticipation to see him live. And man, he can put on a show, even when catering to an audience which must be at least 40% under-eighteen.

It seems a bit of a changed persona in a way…. Not really any misogynistic mentions (except to sing that Akon classic ‘I Want to F**K You’- but this can be skirted over) and by the end of the set encouraging everyone to wave the peace sign in the air as Snoops shows are about “Music, love and soul”. Hitting through some old school hits like ‘Who Am I (What’s My Name)?’ with the entire crowd in union replying “Snoop Doggy Dogg” and getting hands in the air meant that there was old and new hits together. Snoop even took vocal leads for ‘Beautiful’ dedicating it to “All the beautiful ladies in the audience”. Charmer. Highlights of the set included ‘Gin and Juice’ which had Snoop sliding all over the stage in a fit of swagger and the crowd yelling the chorus back at him and ‘Drop it Like it’s Hot’ finishing the set with some all out showmanship. All together now: SnoooOOOOOOP!

Words by Jade French, Same Teens

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