Darwin rapper Clifton was back at the Happy Yess last Saturday for a post-COVID-19 gig, his only one for 2020 due to the pandemic putting the brakes on several earlier planned performances around the country.
Well attended by his hardcore supporters, Clifton gave a heartfelt, humble and intimate performance at the Yess, his gratitude at being able to finally be up on stage in front of actual punters obvious from the start. Clifton was ably backed on the decks by Fordyfourr, a DJ who clearly knows how to read a room and set the tone.
The vibe was less intense than Clifton’s usual shows, whether by accident or design – the intensity instead replaced by an uplifting mutual respect between artist and audience. The usual hip hop ‘attitude’ seemed to have been overborne by love, and that was not at all a bad thing. Making the evening even more special, and indeed all the more intimate and mellow, was support from singer-songwriter Crystal Robins opening with a relaxed solo guitar-and-loop set after just having stepped off the Playhouse stage at the Darwin Entertainment Centre where she opened for Wendy Matthews. It was certainly a big night for Crystal.
Even though the room was awash with all the feels, a rhymer gotta rhyme and Clifton has had plenty of time to contemplate the COVID-19 situation. His new release ‘Virus‘ got a warmly received spin (see video below), all typical Clifton with machinelike flow – a precision-made weapon delivered with pinpoint accuracy.
Perhaps the most memorable part of the evening was Clifton and Crystal performing together – this was definitely a yin-yang situation (noting that Clifton wore just a such a symbol around his neck on this night – coincidence??) that really worked and almost had the young rapper in tears at the end.
Clearly overcome with emotion at the end of his performance, the audience wasn’t letting Clifton off lightly. An encore was demanded and he dutifully complied.
Check out Clifton’s latest release ‘Virus’ below
Here are some more pics from the night:
As the Wet Season ramps up while 2020 gigs wind down, we all look forward to next year when hopefully we can expect a big resurgence in live hip hop on the Darwin scene. We need artists like Clifton to keep the scene real, alive and kicking in the post-COVID world. Live performance is the glue that keeps any music scene together. Big thanks to the Happy Yess once again for helping artists achieve their dreams.