Loyle Carner at Motion, Bristol

Loyle Carner has emerged in a golden-tipped era for British rap music. His strikingly sentimental and deeply personal debut record, ‘Yesterday’s Gone’, is very much an exclusive insight into a family photo album. Hip-hop has an affectionate streak within its lyricism and it would be fair to say that Loyle Carner has produced one of the most brutally honest, mellow and soulful pieces of modern music that you can listen to.

The twenty-one-year-old has translated the personal feel of his album incredibly well to the live stage. Using props, one side of the stage included a bookcase filled with records and personal items. This put emphasis on the rapper’s family and brought the audience into a space, so to speak. This feeling of being in the living room gave a platform for Carner’s album to be displayed in all its musical glory. Atop the bookcase sat a laptop used by Rebel Clef, the artist that is featured in a number of Carner’s tracks, and his production partner.

Behind the two men, the image of Loyle Carner’s album cover was projected. The black and white photograph of his family. Although Carner’s debut record is fresh off the press, his well-rehearsed performance made the album seem old as if it were a tradition; something that Carner has had in his mind since childhood.

Latest single ‘The Isle of Arran’ was the opening track before ‘Meaning It In The Morning’ followed by one of Carner’s poems from the album, ‘+44′. Loyle Carner’s fifth track was ‘Damselfly’, his collaboration with fellow London artist Tom Misch. Carner paid tribute to Misch in his comments before the song. The young artist made his way through an impressive sixteen songs; a great deal for a first headline tour. ‘Stars & Shards’ and ‘No Worries’ were both well received before he threw in a A Tribe Called Quest cover. 

Loyle Carner made sure his live performance ended on a high with his beautifully crafted setlist bringing in ‘Ain’t Nothing Changed’ and ‘NO CD’ as the penultimate crowd-pleasing double act.

A personal touch further was a video of Carner’s mother, impressively transcending from the photograph on the screen, reciting the poem about him during the song ‘Son of Jean’. These touching words were brought to life for on-lookers to be engaged and added the final sprinkling of personal dust to the gig.



  • Personal touches to the gig
  • Loyle Carner brought his debut album to life through his live performance
  • Impressive, crowd-pleasing set list with covers and original tracks


  • No surprise guests – with features on the album it was a shock that Loyle Carner didn’t bring anyone out

 inSYNC Rating – 8/10


Tobi Stidolph

Press Manager & inSYNC Writer


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