House of Pharaohs at Electric Ballroom, London
South London collective House of Pharaohs put on a frenzied show at the Electric Ballroom in Camden.

This has been pending since their first headline show and listening party for this year’s ‘The Fix EP’. The sextuplet contingent have been well received for their sparse trap influenced offerings, individualistic personas and their in house (get it?) approach to the music game. Last Thursday in Camden over 1,100 people saw the young South London collective House of Pharaohs rock the stage with some special guests including North West London’s own Knucks to boot. Myself and Ray from the W&E team decided to go and take in the HOP boys and see if they could deliver on their hype.

Due to circumstances out of our control (curse you London), me and Ray managed to miss all of the supporting acts and I was astonished especially because I love Knucks and DJ’s that actually come with the energy before the main event starts.  M Huncho, FR and Knucks as mentioned before were all present to rip their sets and show out in front of a sold out crowd. In this case, I could observe that the energy in the room was rising, sweltering if you will in combination with the heat. The sounds of Baka Not Nice, Playboi Carti and the other ‘cloud rappers’ that people associate with that whole wave were played and you could see mini moshpits scattered across the storied venue.

From what me and Raymond witnessed, Jamo Beatz and Damn Shaq (the DJ’s of the hour) had got the crowd ready and it was no shock to hear an eruption of sound culminate in the group coming out to perform ‘Take Flight’ their spaced out lead single off of ‘The Fix EP’. Bandanna set pace with his rapid, mumbled verse – which culminated in him crowd surfing. I’ve heard that the House of Pharaohs boys put in a shift when it comes to their stage shows but I wasn’t prepared to see crowd surfing.

For a group who most people would consider to be the new kids on the block, it didn’t show in their confidence and back catalogue. Tracks from 2017’s ‘Real Faces’ project followed, with each crew member sharing the limelight following convincing performances of “Big Mouth” and “5K”, a personal favourite of mine. Their DJ played their instrumentals with vocals but given the potency of their performances and the fact that they were all visibly baking off, one could hardly begrudge them. A water break soon followed, with the promise of a special guest.

The crowd were still visibly rocking with the crew and out to enjoy themselves; the DJ was too happy to oblige by playing some of the best trap bangers. “Pick Up The Phone” (Travis Scott, Quavo & Young Thug), “Whipping Excursion” (Giggs) and “Pick It Up” (Famous Dex, A$AP Rocky) had the crowd up to all sorts. I witnessed more mosh pits, I saw girls going to the back for air (good call) but I didn’t see a single person that wasn’t feeling the intermission. The crew teased a crew classic in “London’s Finest” before they brought out Luton’s Nafe Smallz to a rapturous applause as he rocked the show.

It was only after that intermission that they finally performed “London’s Finest” a track that I like to describe as a slow banger. Ray and I didn’t think that people knew this song like that but honestly, some of the girls were reciting lyrics better than the guys! HOP looked reenergised as they got back into ‘The Fix EP’ with “Flash”, “Hundreds” and “Wrist Work”. Seeing the boys perform cemented their camaraderie for me and this is highlighted by their songs too, there’s no egos or clamour for every crew member to be on every song. They didn’t even perform solo cuts, which was kind of upsetting because I like all of their solo cuts, Sam Wise and Danny Stern especially.

Another highlight from House of Pharaohs raucous show was the performance of an unreleased track produced by Nyge, who has produced heaters for AJ Tracey among other artists. One can only hope that they release it soon, but I feel that given the release of the Ken Samson produced “Submarine” we might have to wait for a bit. Speaking of which, it is a testament to the group’s energy and catchy eclectic nature that the crowd took to their performance of “Submarine” less than 15 days after its release.

Looking around the sweaty building, me and Raymond noticed many familiar faces in the crowd. This wasn’t significant at first but given the fact that the HOP boys grew up in Southwark in their early 20’s, it showed in the crowd that a lot of the concert goers either know the group personally or connect to their content. For me, it was symbolic to see some young kids from South East London embrace who they are in their music and thrive because of it. Look how far it has taken them.

The night climaxed with a fiery performance of “Run With Me (RWM)”, the song that was the catalyst for their swift emergence in the scene. It felt celebratory and appropriate at the same time, a fitting end to House of Pharaohs second headline show.

Written by /
Published /
August 1
Category /
Event Review