Sage Francis & B.Dolan spoken word show @TheForgeCamden 01/09/16

RnB/Hip Hop | Friday 2nd September 2016 | Phil

After a short respite from their mammoth run of widely-lauded performances at #EdFringe, Sage Francis and B.Dolan were back in London for a pair of deservedly sold out shows. Having undoubtedly left a positive impression on the largely seated crowds of The Fringe, this was a standing show in a small yet well designed North London bar, packed out with fans of both artists, many of whom knew the poems and rap lyrics word for word. You could almost taste the anticipation in the air and, safe to say, it was well worth the wait.

Sage kickstarted the set with the brutally honest and euphoric 'The Best of Times' from the alternative/indy album 'Li(f)e' produced by Brian Deck. B.Dolan swiftly following up with a short piece named 'Still Electric’, a poem that even Sage admits is an ‘incredibly complex piece that can be interpreted in several ways.’

Highlights of the set came in the form of Sage’s Hip-Hop Book Report, Dolan’s ode to Wu-Tang Clan’s ODB ‘Who killed Russell Jones’. Sage also acapella'd his 2012 track 'Ubuntu', a track based on his experiences observing the ongoing AIDS epidemic in South Africa and last but not least an appetising selection of hip hop heavy Epic Beard Men tracks. The crowd were even treated to a brief freestyle by the pair, something which rarely even happens when they are doing straight rap shows.


With a wonderful blend of spoken word eloquence and hip-hop showmanship, they have expertly woven together a set of spoken word/rap that exudes a plethora of interesting observations on social injustice and a cascade of deeply personal opinions. All of this emphasised by buckets of rowdy hip hop energy, good humour and the odd moment of darkness.

All in all it was a great show by two artists who have found a winning formula in how to execute a thought provoking spoken word performance whilst keeping energy levels closer to that of a hip-hop gig. Highly recommended. 

You can find out more about Mr. Sage and B.Dolan and their music at