Dan Le Sav Vs Scroobius Pip Live Review
London Koko - 23/03/10
I know it shouldn't come as such a massive revelation to me but I was genuinely surprised recently (23rd of March) when I went to a pop concert and saw people enjoying themselves.
It sounds a bit odd, but I honestly can't remember going to a gig where people let themselves go and have a great time from the first note of the support act to the final euphoric blast of the headliner. And what a great feeling it was. Well done Koko, you excelled yourselves last night.
Firstly, a word on those support acts - Sound Of Rum came onstage and won the not-unsubstantial audience over with their youthful exuberance, energy and optimism.
All these (dare I sound like an old hippy?) good vibes (yes) spilling out from a trio that looked like they'd be more at home hanging around outside Spar trying to get people to buy them some fags than playing to thousands of devoted spoken word/hip-hop fans.
The closest thing I can get to describing the sound of the unbelievably excellently-named Kate Tempest and her music co-creators is that if you imagine Zach De La Rocha had been born in Norwood, and Tom Morello been open to the use of laptops, then we might well be calling Sound Of Rum a covers band - and that's no insult.
B Dolan is a man with a plan. And a beard. At least he did before the show started. It would be short sighted to highlight the stripping to underwear, then shaving of his (previously) ample beard, but it's worth noting because a) it was bloody funny, and b) he obviously doesn't do it in every show.
Often noted as a wordsmith before a musician, in his set B Dolan showed that there's a lot more than just clever wordplay at work in the music he's producing - the man has some serious phat beats to accompany his smokin' rhymes.
Now, time to cast aside the aperitifs and amuse-bouche and move on to the main course. The feast begins in fine style as Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip emerge onto a stage adorned with easels, lampshades and a plush leather swivel-chair and unleash The Beat That My Heart Skipped fresh on the back of hot internet chatter that the Sugababes, or rather their not-so-crafty team of songwriters, have unceremoniously ripped off that very tune for Wear My Kiss.
If anyone were in any doubt which of the two 'versions' could produce the greatest reaction, Koko provided them with the answer.
The audience then got progressively more and more raucous as Dan and Pip showered them with a selection of old favourites and new destined-to-be classics.
The new material ramps up Dan's production into banging beats that traverse the world generically known as 'dance' - from drum and bass that gets your feet moving irresistibly to electro beats that could whip up a frenzy at a Ministry of Sound club night.
That said, Pip's delivery and lyrics are not to be forgotten. Far from it in fact, as is evident in the massive speak-alongs accompanying Thou Shalt Always Kill et al, a habit which chartered waters of sheer benevolence during a heart-warming chant of 'Dan's not bald' initiated by Pip. If I were to have any criticism of the night it might be that the slower, wordier numbers (Angles, Last Train Home) seemed a little lost amidst this fun-loving crowd, though to lose the cerebral element of Le Sac Vs Pip would be to lose what stands them apart from their contemporaries - heck, it's a tough balance to strike.
I've already gone to some lengths to describe the wickedness of the crowd present. At several points there was actual real-life moshing. I nearly spilled my glass of Perrier.
The highlight in all this action was when I caught sight of a very sweaty man who was the absolute spitting image of Richard Curtis bouncing in the middle of a swathe of punters during Fixed, the Dizzee Rascal re-working, bobbing his head like the Churchill nodding dog on speed.
And it was during this track, looking at the easels on stage, and listening to the word's "hip-hop is art" that I thought to myself that while that maybe true, it's the art of having fun that these guys really excel at.
Review by Robbie McHugh