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The main event: I Blame Coco

Photo: Andrew Kendall

To say that starlet Coco Sumner has risen and shines ever so bright is certainly not an understatement. More appropriately though she grooves, reggae style. Coco of I Blame Coco has just finished her first ever UK headline tour. The gig schedule is continuing all over Europe: Paris, Sweden, Belgium, Romania, Amsterdam and so on, to make sure, it would seem, that her music gets out there and that no one is missing out. Her debut is now official with the album ‘The Constant’ released in early November 2010. Up until now, she has toured with La Roux, collaborated with Fyfe Dangerfield, Robyn and Subfocus. On ‘The Constant’ you can find an upbeat cover of Neil Young’s ‘Only Love Can Break Your Heart’.

The Badger caught I Blame Coco at the Brighton Ballroom on 3 November on their last gig on the UK headline tour.  We sat down with Coco for a casual and to the point interview before the gig and took note of an unshakable passion for music.

What’s your next project?
To release the next record.

Best gig so far on this headlining tour?
Manchester and New Castle.

Tell me about ‘Self Machine’.
It’s about a robot that is programmed to be ego and can’t help himself. Everybody is programmed to be in a certain way, people are different. It’s a metaphor really.

How did you end up doing the cover of  The Special’s ‘A Message To You, Rudy’ with Natty?
Me and Natty have known each other for 8 years now. So it just happened naturally.

What is you relation to reggae music?
I’ve been in plenty of reggae bands before so I have a good understanding of it.

Why do you make music?
Music makes me happy.

Another new artist in the loop, Kyla La Grange, played before I Blame Coco took to the stage and Coco was standing amongst the crowd listening to the support act. The crowd were shouting her name by the time Coco Sumner conquered the stage and her response was, “Brighton, how you feeling tonight?”

I Blame Coco played the hits ‘Selfmachine’, ‘Caesar’, ‘In Spirit Golden’ and ‘Quicker’ which you can also hear on the album. Coco rather surprised but not disturbed said, “It is very quite in here, very intimate” which shows that she knows how to handle smaller stages such as the one in Brighton Ballroom. Before she performed ‘No Smile’ she confessed that “this is an old song, much older than my heart”. When I Blame Coco played ‘Quicker’ Coco in an excited state said “Now it gets even better”. It’s a joy to see Coco Sumner perform because you never know what the next step is going to be and she moves randomly on stage. She also rhymes like any pissed off dude. In particular, “Please don’t distract my lyrical flow, I’m only rhyming the things I know. What I catch is what I throw, so fuck off and leave me”, from one of her brilliant rhymes on YouTube. This does not take away Coco’s humble attitude and frankly has got nothing to do with it; there is space in her music for such rudeness, which is spot on and amusing.

Coco Sumner seemed happy, relieved and to have enjoyed finishing her first headline tour in such a small venue. “I’ll see you again soon” were her last words. I responded with a quiet “yes” to myself.

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