This Franko Fraize article was written by Sarah Ebockayuk, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Natalie Whitehouse.
Rocking onto the stage with his statement yellow parker and beer to hand, you know you are in for a treat. Franko Fraize’s confident and friendly stage presence is apparent straight from the off.
British rapper Franko may not have been the obvious choice as a support act for indie rock band Reverend and the Makers, but his infectious humour and pure love of music enticed an excitable crowd atmosphere.
‘Underdog’ was the perfect track to open the set. A crowd pleaser with its up tempo beats and intense charisma on stage spurred the crowd to move away from the bar and have a good time. One onlooker clearly enjoyed dancing in the middle of the crowd, in a manner described best as Dad dancing. Never the less, Franko’s cheeky presence and raw appeal set the president for the rest of the set.
Franko has come a long way from his hometown in Thetford. Performing at BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend earlier this year, and signing to Polydor Records, he has been doing his thing for close to a decade. With his track ‘Treasures’ being played on Soccer AM and performing with the likes of Professor Green, Franko Fraize’s CV is definitely impressive.
Franko’s energetic enthusiastic persona and rapping talent was a statement maker. Engaging with the crowd in between songs and ensuring everybody “get’s pissed!” sure added to the buzzing atmosphere of how a true Saturday night should be. His seven-piece band added to the array of talent on stage. The mixture of Tone’s vocals cannot go a miss, with a smooth undertone and backing instruments pushing the boundaries of UK rap and hip hop in a refreshing way.
What was enjoyable was the versatile feel of each track. ‘Love Love Love’ showed his sentimental side not shying away from his emotions. ‘Siesta’ and ‘Troubles’ were relatable songs that the crowd warmed to. Every single track resonated with the crowd. The dialogue from Franko in between tracks explaining each tune added a rare personal touch not many artists adhere to. This created a warm atmosphere as if you knew him personally, reinforcing the different vibe of live music.
His latest single ‘Oi Oi,’ which has been played on BBC radio 1 recently, was a classic closing song for the set. The crowd’s energetic bouncing and pure enjoyment was inevitable. Franko’s shout out to myself for the interview during the set was a personal highlight and also a key indication of his cheeky and friendly nature.
He loves his music; he loves to entertain and he wants everyone to have fun. Inviting the crowd to party with him in Liverpool after the gig and reiterating everyone’s need to get a drink, there is a sense of his genuine nature which comes through his stage presence and his music.
He ended the set thanking everybody who came out to see them, noting the need to celebrate the fact that live music is the place to be, which lead the crowd to respond with a resounding cheer.
Grabbing his beer and thanking the packed crowd, off they went. This guy has come a long way from the Myspace days, and is definitely one to watch out for in 2016.