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Concert Review: Southsea's Gaiety Bar May 24, 2023



This band’s live energy is unrivalled, they bring a positive vibe and a positive message and they leave their audiences spent and content. Arrested Development deserves all the flowers, they are exceptional.” - Lorna Edwards


Portsmouth was host to hip-hop royalty Wednesday evening (May 24th), Grammy-winning Arrested Development made a stop at Southsea’s Gaiety Bar on Southsea Pier on the UK leg of their For The FKN Love Tour.

The band are celebrating 31 years since their seminal debut album ‘3 Years, 5 Months and 2 Days in the Life Of…’. The groundbreaking album won the band two Grammy Awards for Best New Artist and for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group. Amongst a host of other awards, the band was also named Band Of The Year by Rolling Stone and the album sold an impressive 6 million copies worldwide.

As the sun set over Southsea Pier, The Gaiety Bar filled up with hip-hop-loving locals ready to get a fix of Atlanta’s finest. The band were supported by local artist Tash Hills who warmed up the crowd with her soulful and funky set with full band. If you haven’t caught this Pompey gal live yet, you should, Tash and her band are fierce.

Before the band hit the stage the crowd were rounded up by Twan Mack who encouraged everyone to leave their seats, come up front and get in the spirit of hip-hop. A little slow to come forward at first the intimate crowd soon got into the swing of things, when he lept off stage and began to freestyle amongst the thrilled audience. This was a precursor of how the evening was to continue.

Band member Fareedah Aleem erupted onto the stage with a fierce and mesmerising African-style dance, that couldn’t have been more energetic if she tried….this lady is phenomenal, she oozes feminine confidence. The other band members took to their places and lead vocalist Speech’s entrance was met with a passionate cheer from the now excitable crowd.

From the outset, Arrested Development had this intimate but high-octane crowd in the palm of their hands as they worked their way through a mammoth set with included tracks ‘Revolution’, ‘Tennessee’, ‘Mr Wendal’ and crowd favourite hit ‘People Everyday’. There was non-stop audience participation, they sang at the top of their lungs, loving this up-close and personal hip-hop experience with the band inches from the stage. The band also paid a moving tribute to the legendary Tina Turner midway through their set, after the news broke of the singer’s death the same evening.

This band’s live energy is unrivalled, they bring a positive vibe and a positive message and they leave their audiences spent and content. Arrested Development deserves all the flowers, they are exceptional.

Arrested Development continues their UK tour with two dates at London’s Jazz Cafe on Friday and Saturday this weekend. For all dates and tickets see HERE.

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