Thu 9 Dec 2021

Bakar Live At Deaf Institute


Bakar – Live At Deaf Institute | Words and Images by Lilly Tarmey

Indie rock hip hop is the only way I can describe the hybridized sound of Bakar. Sitting comfortably on the fence between hip hop and indie music, this set blended lyrical masterpieces with the instrumentation of a rock band. Bakar pioneers in this genre of music, enticing the audience of The Deaf Institute.

This was my first visit to Deaf. It reminded me of my school hall, except with a bar running down one side. The bar played a big role in Bakar’s set. Cat-walking before the optics, he was going all in on his performance. I’m shocked he didn’t eventually end up swinging from the pendant lights.

Bakar got the crowd involved. His stage presence is even more dynamic than you could ever imagine. I first saw him back in 2019 at Gorilla, another intimate Manchester venue.

Playing new material, in which he generated a whole new genre, Bakar gave Manchester an exclusive show. His recent tracks are increasingly influenced by hip hop, with a more mellow tone.  The psychedelic notes made the atmosphere of Deaf almost eerie, accentuated by the smoke. This set the scene for his new stripped back, electronic tracks.

For me, Bakar’s best work can be found on his EP from 2019, ‘Will You Be My Yellow’. This EP is perfectly crafted, the rhythm of the tracks intensified when live. ‘Stop Selling Her Drugs’ is the first of Bakar’s tracks to include a feature, Dominic Fike, also known for his mingling of genres. The emotion behind these lyrics is apparent on stage, Bakar shows passion through his presence.

Eyes closed, gripping the microphone, he comes across almost shy. 50 minutes later, he was draping from the balcony – much to the distress of security.

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