Review: Limoblaze at XOYO, Shoreditch

By his own admission, Limoblaze is a bit of an anomaly. His ‘Cinderella’ story saw him serving as the errand boy for his church band when all he wanted to do was sing. And when he did finally get the opportunity at age 16, he was kicked off the stage in front of 1000 people for not being churchy enough. But now the outcast is taking centre stage and doing a sold out show in London, despite his worries about whether he could even put on a show of this size.

Limoblaze needn’t have worried. Even at short notice, the Afro-gospel star built enough excitement to necessitate a venue upgrade to a bigger space. That excitement translated to the night itself. Both performer and crowd were hyped and ready to support not just Limoblaze himself but the other artists as well, which were all of a high calibre. UK gospel household names were among them.

Limoblaze is an animated performer

Taking to the stage with high energy, Limoblaze truly connected with the audience. They were real fans. They sang along, they danced and despite the hot and sweaty atmosphere inside XOYO in London, they showed no signs of tiring.

That was especially true when Lecrae came on stage alongside Happi to perform the new single Jireh. The track came about as a cheeky Happi bootleg, that became a Big Church Festival performance, that became an official single and crowd pleaser at this Limoblaze headline show. After singing this song with Limoblaze, Lecrae also stuck around to perform Coming In Hot. Before leaving, Lecrae announced a Church Clothes 4 is coming and it will feature UK artists. Needless to say we’re looking forward to it.

Triple O and Elikem Kofi started the show

Speaking of collaborations, Asha Elia joined Limoblaze on stage for Jeje, while Annatoria and Becca Folkes, as well as members of the audience joined Limo on stage for This Loving.

Asha Elia chose Nights Like This as one of her songs

Other highlights included Blessed, which started the performance, Blow My Mind (a favourite of ours) and the show enders Your Love and Sound of Victory.

Just one song from Annatoria, but Stay With Me was what the crowd wanted to hear

We were talking to some industry peeps backstage before the show started about the key to Limoblaze’s success. One take was that he has raw talent and the ability to build an international fan base. Lecrae on stage said it’s Limoblaze’s character that stands out. For us, when looking particularly at his huge support in the UK, you have to consider his love for the UK, its music and its artists. Before Limoblaze moved to the UK, he was already working with a whole load of British artists. Those same artists, and indeed the fans are more than willing to welcome him as one of their own.

Becca Folkes sang her English/Yoruba crossover track Baba

Where Limoblaze once stood out for the wrong reasons in his childhood, he’s now positively unique among his peers. He has the blessing of Reach Records, namely its founder Lecrae. But he also makes infectious music that connects with people far behind his Nigerian homeland. And that includes the UK.

Prince Siege, with Bravest Maestro performed DJ Shunz’s debut track Armour

There would have been people queuing up to support Limoblaze for the show. On this occasion, the responsibility went to Triple O, Elikem Kofi, Bravest Maestro, Prince Siege, Colours of Praise, Asha Elia, Annatoria, and Becca Folkes. It was billed as an Afro-gospel showcase and it delivered on celebrating the sounds of the motherland that influence music around the world. Limoblaze is a pioneer of the sound and his presence will continue to be felt throughout the UK.

Asha Elia returned to the stage for Jeje with Limoblaze

Photos by Jermaine Dallas for the Sound Doctrine. Not to be reproduced without permission

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