Two months after the release of their debut album ‘South City’, hip-hop duo Too Many T’s voyaged down to the Joiners in Southampton to play one of the latter gigs of their huge UK tour.
It was a freezing cold autumn evening, and I must have been the only person waiting outside for the doors to open. Nevertheless, it was a short while until I was able to waddle my way into the Joiners. The pub on St Mary’s Street, which opened its doors in 1968, has played host to many up and coming bands at the time such as Coldplay, Arctic Monkeys, and Ed Sheeran. In June 2013 the site won NME’s contest to find Britain’s best small music venue.
With an eight o’clock start time I expected the Joiners to fill to capacity with pace, as it can only hold a maximum of 200, but I was wrong. The first support artist, Jamb leapt on stage for his first ever gig and there were a lowly six to seven people spectating. He was giving his all to try and get the crowd involved and towards the latter stages, brought in around 50 gig-goers, of whom were very diverse in age and background.
The second support act Tenchoo forced everybody to be more engaging by bringing the crowd forward and getting them involved. Tenchoo blew the venue away when he did a freestyle rap, where members of the audience gave him random items to spit bars too. His energy helped pipe up the crowd ready for the main event, enter Too Many T’s.
Leon Rhymes and Ross Standaloft got up on stage and immediately got the biggest cheer of the evening. By this time the venue was at near full capacity. The stage was set with no props, just a projector screen in the background of which was showing their music videos, the first of which was one of their first biggest hit tunes, ‘1992’. It was an energetic performance with some cheeky lyrics, and a beat which made heads bob in sync across the room.
Following up an impressive and striking introduction, came the first of their new hit tunes, ‘Hang Tight’.
The track, which has a music video that was made on Facebook live, was lively and had a truly good vibe to it. Looking across the room people were smiling from ear to ear, which was a vision that showed that the spectators had got great value for the eight-pound entry fee. This was helped by Rhymes and Standaloft, who were tellingly enjoying themselves while performing.
Too Many T’s played a few more anthems from their debut album ‘South City’, which was released in September this year, including ‘God Save The T’s’ and ‘Panther’. As their set was about to end, the gig-goers were chanting for an encore as the duo left the stage. Loud cheers amass around the venue when they jumped back on the stage for an encore, with Rhymes jokingly stating, “We were stuck and had nowhere to get out!”. They played ‘Better Than’ which is a simple, but entertaining rap, with lyrics that stated what they were better than. It was a great end to an enjoyable show.
Later I was able to speak to a few members of the crowd, asking them how the show was and how they felt about Too Many T’s sets. A male, who was seeing the duo for the first time stated “Too Many T’s seem like the kind of people who go on stage and instantly have a good time, which rubs off onto the whole crowd.
“They are proper performers and they bring a very varied crowd, different ages and different walks of life, but they unite people because everyone’s on the same vibe and they preach a good message.”
Two females, who had seen the hip-hop duet previously said “They were awesome! I had been looking forward to this since Bestival, that’s when we fell in love with them. We booked a hotel specifically to see these guys tonight and they did not disappoint.”
When the ques had died down from the never-ending line for merchandise, I was able to speak to Rhymes and Standaloft and asked them what it was like to perform at the Joiners.
Still energetic from the set, Rhymes replied “’Fricken’ amazing mate, I loved Southampton here at the Joiners. It’s the second or third time we’ve been here, and this has definitely been the best”. Standaloft added, “What a venue! The stage and sound were awesome and the people of Southampton brought the vibes. Tonight has been one of the highlights of the tour, I had so much fun.”
Too Many T’s, who name was formed by the duo having “too many t-shirts” and “drinking a lot of tea”, admitted that they have evolved since establishing in 2011. “The record we have just made has been a much more grown-up thing than before, so we have definitely grown up a bit,” Rhymes said. “It made us think about why we are doing what we are doing, whereas we used to do it just because we loved It, some of it was a bit rubbish, whereas now there is a much tighter quality control.”
The twosome have three more dates of their tour, and asking what they will do after it has concluded they both shouted “Bed!”. Standaloft then admitted they are planning on a new EP.
“I’m really looking forward to getting back into writing some music, our next project will probably be an EP and it’s going to be an older school 80’s, hip-hop sounding”.
To conclude, if you are a fan of hip-hop and rap, Too Many T’s are a must-see duo. Their vibes and energetic performances are easily transmitted to the spectator, while their mischievous and well thought out lyrics will make you smile with glee, thinking that you did not just witness any old gig, but almost an art form, that was delivered powerfully.