PNL at Koko London, Thursday
15th November 2018
Lil Bonhomme / November 16th, 2018
Photo: Facebook PNL
Joggers, weed and Algerian flags – that is what a PNL concert looks and smells like.
Before the Franco-Algerian rap sensations came on, Flohio delivered a pretty good set-list, introducing herself to the audience, mainly made up of young French people smoking, wearing joggers, tinted glasses, sleek hair, and so on.
Brothers Ademo and N.O.S took to the stage after being booed and hissed at by every single person at KOKO London, fed-up after a three-and-a-half hour wait. If we had known their set was only going to last twenty-eight minutes, it probably wouldn’t have been a sold-out show.
However, when the first few notes of ‘J’suis QLF’ were heard, the anger and impatience were soon forgotten. ‘QLF’ means ‘Que La Famille’ [‘Only the Family’] and is also the name of their label, as well as their slogan to prove they only trust their close friends, family, and their fans, of course.
"Comment ça va la mif ?" ["How’s it going fam?"] N.O.S asked once the first track was over. Much to their fans’ delight, the highly-auto-tuned ‘Naha’ then filled the venue, provoking a thunder of screams.
Seeing the audience come together, waving Algerian flags during ‘Le Monde ou Rien’ made me realise those two lads with their sunglasses, neatly-kept appearances and terrible stage presence might be worth it.
‘Bené’ was a joyful moment with PNL’s mates who all appeared on stage, with idiotic smiles, joints in one hand, phones in the other. What a great time they seemed to be having.
After a few words from N.O.S – does Ademo ever speak? – ‘Jusqu’au dernier gramme’ was next on their set list. While the previous song got the audience swaying, this track brought back the boring and not-very-exciting atmosphere of this gig.
‘DA’ got all the hands in the air moving in sync, before their latest release – ‘91’s’ – got us grooving a bit more. Following that, I gathered they would only be playing ‘Onizuka’ and ‘À l’amoniaque’, before ending their first-ever concert – and probably their last one – in London.
Dead on 11pm, the two rappers left the stage in the same conditions they came in: booed, hissed and cursed.
This was probably the shortest and most uninteresting gig I have ever been to. But to watch so many Frenchies singing together, smoking joints and wearing their best joggers, was definitely something that was worth seeing.