Childish Gambino's Newcastle show: Fans blast 'massive middle finger to Newcastle'

THE Cambridge Hotel has told livid Childish Gambino fans it is "as disappointed as all of you" over the bizarre show that has left many clamouring for their money back.

Gambino, also known as Community actor and comedy writer Donald Glover, was expected to play a concert at the venue.

Instead, fans were regaled by group Royalty while Gambino chimed in during the set that lasted more than an hour, with the most identifiable person on stage virtually silent for the first 40 minutes.

Speaking to the Herald at midday, licencee Dru Russell said he and his staff went into Thursday's show with the same expectations as the paying punters.

"Me and the staff were gutted," he said.

"We were expecting the same as everyone else."

Mr Russell said claims Gambino was booked for a DJ set were wide of the mark, arguing the Newcastle and Canberra shows were expected to be intimate concerts as advertised.

"Those two were the intimate shows and both were promoted exactly the same," Mr Russell said.

Mr Russell said he expected rap group Royalty, who did most of the heavy lifting during the supposed Gambino set, to be a support act.

"I thought they might get up and do a bit of stuff with him, but not the main show," he said.

The Canberra show was cancelled on Thursday, with Glover advising the Australian shows "had taken a toll"

The Cambridge and promoter Big Apachee are having ongoing discussions on Friday, Mr Russell said, and ticket holders would hear from organisers directly when a solution was found.

A refund is one of the matters under discussion, he said, but he said he had no timeframe for when a resolution would be reached. 

In a wider statement the Cambridge said they jumped at the chance to bring Gambino to Newcastle.

"As seen last night, unfortunately we have no control over the acts performance once on stage," the venue said in a statement.

"For those that aren’t aware, Canberra and ourselves were 2 additional Childish Gambino shows that were promoted in the exact same way as part of his current tour and we were extremely excited to be presented with this opportunity" 

"Subsequently he didn’t deliver on what was billed and expected by everyone, including us."

Childish Gambino is yet to comment on the concert despite appearing on Triple J radio on Friday morning. 

Promoter Big Apachee, based in Newcastle, has also been contacted for comment.

FANS are calling for refunds after a rapper was booed off-stage in one of the most anticipated Hunter gigs of the year. 

Childish Gambino, also known as 30 Rock writer and Community star Donald Glover, delivered an offbeat set in Newcastle West that has divided fans and left some outraged. 

Performing for more than an hour, Glover's efforts did little to win over a crowd that had been chanting his name earlier in the evening.

Four hours after eager fans queued through the venue in anticipation for the sold-out gig, many were asking for their money back and slamming a performance in which the headline act barely uttered a word for 40 minutes. 

The show, announced less than two weeks before the performance, had earlier sparked feverish entries in a competition on the venue's Facebook page. 

Hoping to win two tickets, some fans had pledged to travel from Melbourne for the event if they were successful. 

By the end of the night, fans were taking to the same Facebook page wishing they had missed out. 

Glover spent more than an hour on stage with a large entourage, including members of the audience, performing a selection of his favourite songs in a "mixtape" performance. 

But the show appeared to curdle after the rapper spent about 40 minutes at the beginning behind turntables and seated near the rear of the stage, the audience's enthusiasm waning as his entourage joked with audience members long before they began playing music.

Were you there? Let us know what you thought. 

Finding his voice later in the show, Glover delivered glimpses of the lyrical skill that earned him a strong enough following to play the Listen Out festival, where his performances have won extensive praise.

But his fast finish at the Cambridge Hotel, which included two performances of STN MTN track Retro but excluded hits like 3005, was not enough to win back the Hunter fans.

As his crew left the stage, the crowd chanted obscenities and heckled as he performed a solo falsetto song and left the stage.

The rapper appeared visibly shocked at the crowd response, which included obscenities and insults aimed at him traced in perspiration on the venue's glass wall. 

A DJ playing songs after his set immediately played the rapper's 3005, sparking a mixed response from a crowd who had expected to hear the rapper deliver the song himself.

Childish Gambino, aka Donald Glover.

Childish Gambino, aka Donald Glover.

A handful rushed the stage in the hopes Glover may reprise the stage and salvage the show before filing out as they realised it would not happen. 

Tempers boiled over when a 15-second clip of the show was posted on the venue's Facebook page about 11.30pm, towards the end of the show.

"Cool video," one user wrote.

"Did you film the part where he was booed off stage and we were all left disappointed?

"That was a massive middle finger to Newcastle," another wrote on the venue's Facebook post.

"A lot of that crowd were under 18 and that was not a cheap gig, I love you donald but that wasn't cool."

"Had to wait 40 minutes after he came on stage before he even said a word," another wrote.

"Cheers for the atrocious karaoke gambino and crew."

Several defended the performer, who earlier in the day cancelled a Canberra performance due to a "busy touring schedule taking a toll."

"I thought it was great!! Childish Gambino killed it tonight," one Facebook user wrote.

"Top show!"

Glover appeared on Triple J on Friday morning, performing his song Sober and a cover, but did not discuss the Newcastle show.

The rapper is due to appear at Listen Out festival's Sydney and Brisbane shows over the long weekend.


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