Kenya Grace @ Heaven review: a new generation of DnB talent

We sent Ben Jolley to London's Heaven to check out some next generation DnB talent in Kenya Grace and Charlotte Plank.

Skiddle Staff

Last updated: 3rd May 2024

Drum and bass ruled 2023 in terms of dance music, and that TikTok-fuelled trend shows no signs of slowing down this year. Two artists at the forefront of its renaissance are chart-topper Kenya Grace, and Charlotte Plank, who scored a top-five hit with Rudimental-collaboration ‘Dancing Is Healing’. Though the pair are very different when it comes to their take on DnB and their performance styles, both are equally compelling. And fans were treated to live shows from both at Heaven in London last night (May 1) as part of Grace’s three-night UK headline tour. 

With the brick-walked venue packed full of twenty-somethings from 8pm, Plank bounded onto the stage in camo trousers and sunglasses, ready to deliver a high-energy 10-track set full of raucous fan favourites and future hits-in-waiting. After kicking off with her upcoming single ‘Nightshift’ (which seamlessly samples Groove Armada’s ‘Superstylin’), she smashed through wall-to-wall bangers, including ‘Rave Out’, ‘Rage’ and the unreleased ‘Happy Ever Afters’. 


All images credit: Nick Haill (Instagram @crudshots)

It wasn’t all about the party, though, as the vulnerable ‘Redline’ and ‘Ellen’ proved; the latter, a personal ode to herself, found Plank reflecting on her teenage years working in a supermarket and debating if her artist dream would ever come true. After being handed a rose, the room was appropriately lit up for ‘Lights’, whose rumbling breakbeats really tested the speakers. On the strength of this effortlessly charismatic performance, which allowed her to test out new material, Plank should never have doubted her chance of success. 

Following her was the night’s headline act, Kenya Grace. Fresh from a run of stateside shows - including her Coachella debut - the bedroom producer, songwriter and vocalist arrived armed with a recently released EP’s worth of material. Drawing on ‘The After Taste’ while weaving in breakbeat moments and a scattering of nostalgic DnB-infused live covers (including Gwen Stefani’s ‘Hollaback Girl’, Britney Spears’ ‘Toxic’ and Daniel Bedingfield’s ‘Gotta Get Thru This’), Grace’s set had the same impact despite her comparatively softer and more introspective sound. 


There were harder moments, however, such as ‘Paris’ - “about how fake social media can be” - which was given a bumping bass bounce. Similarly pumping was ‘Only In My Mind’, which had dedicated fans upfront singing along. 

Not only displaying her featherweight ASMR-like vocal, Grace’s technical skills also impressed as she triggered each beat on her Maschine pad with a light touch; Fredagain..-style on-screen close-ups of these moments further proved her talent. The immersive, kaleidoscopic visuals, which also incorporated a twirling animated Grace-like character, text-speak iMessages and broken heart emojis, added an extra dimension to her show. 

While the South Africa-born UK-raised artist spent the majority of the set behind her platformed set up on stage, whenever it was time to sing she stepped out to the front, in front of a microphone stand, and commanded the crowd with ease. On several occasions, the tattooed all-black-wearing DIY musician briefly sat on a chair closer to the audience to sing slower tracks like ‘Stay’ and ‘It’s not fair’, which helped to create a more intimate atmosphere. 


Grace’s hour-long set came to a close with her record-breaking viral smash ‘Strangers’. Alongside the legendary Kate Bush, it made Grace one of only two female artists to hit the top spot as a sole writer, producer and performer. Fittingly for such a huge hit, a sea of phones appeared as soon as the opening, instantly-recognisable beat dropped and Grace began to sing the first verse. After she signed off with a polite “thank you so much everybody”, a bass-whirring edit of ‘Strangers’ threatened to take the roof off the venue amid chants of “one more song”.

Not only was this night out truly heaven for DnB fans, but it was a testament to why Kenya Grace and Charlotte Plank are considered leaders of the genre's new generation.



For more clubbing events and raves across the UK, check out our UK Rave Guide Inspire Me page. 



Check out our What's On Guide to discover even more rowdy raves and sweaty gigs taking place over the coming weeks and months. For festivals, lifestyle events and more, head on over to our Things To Do page or be inspired by the event selections on our Inspire Me page.