Call me Russ L

A month is a long time in politics, part (sigh) three

Posted in Music by Russ L on 6 January, 2006

Originally posted on 16/7/4

…and so we come to the third part of a trilogy started in the last post but one, and carried on a bit in the post before this. Originaly I linked them, but it gave me some gip. Soon we will all be free of the burden of this terrible saga.

Dilated Peoples/Motley – Academy 2, Birmingham, 26/6/4

I hate (Birmingham venue) The Academy, but since I’ve ranted about it many, many times before in my life and will rant about it many, many times again in my life I’ll give it a rest this once.

I missed most of Motley’s set, only catching the last two songs, but I enjoyed what I saw. Confident and fluid delivery, on-stage energy, heavy riddims… the lot. I intend to hear more of him.

Our headline act Dilated Peoples were the most energy-filled, effort-putting-in hip hop act I’ve seen live since Mark B & Blade way way back. They absolutely rocked, although having a wired crowd to feed off probably didn’t hurt them any. I’m a predictable little blighter, and so my vote for song of the night goes to ‘Worst Comes To Worst,’ but that was abslutely fantastic, segueing into a playback of the original William Bell tune.

There are two things that stood out (apart from me really enjoying their set a lot) enough for me to still remember them – firstly that the long scratch/cut-up solos didn’t bore me to death (as long solos generaly do); and secondly that, when they were talking about the wonders of hip hop and so on, it actually felt inclusive. Normaly when bands go on at length about their genre (hardcore bands tend to be blighters for this) it tends to feel that folk like me (i.e. those with enough of a sense of perspective to manage to avoid devoting their lives to one partiular sub-genre of music) aren’t part of the club; not that I give the slightest toss, but on this occasion it all felt somehow welcoming, and that deserves the thumbs up.

Usher/Smujee – NEC, Birmingham, 1/7/4

We arrived to find Smujee already halfway through, but I doubt we missed much. A more r’n’b-ish Wayne Wonder, perhaps, but tedious with it.

I’m not the worlds hugest Usher fan, to be honest, but I do like some of his more up-tempo/funky songs. In fact… how do you view Usher, constant reader? I’ve always seem him as a shmoove/slick/slightly slimy balladeer with a handful of great jump-up songs. My companion for the evening, however, said something to the effect of always thinking of him as more of a funkateer, but this concert made her realise just quite how many soul-y/ballady tunes he had. Intriguing.

He was, anyway, reasonably entertaining depite not having a cannon of work that I’d call outstanding. He had lots of little lifts to move him around his stage set. Anyone with that level of dedication to the labour saving device deserves your respect. I enjoyed the evening.

Deadsunrising/Harpies/D-Rail – The Royal George, Birmingham, 2/7/4

My review of this can be found here. That’ll do.

And so, finaly, that’s it. Since then I’ve been sitting in my more typical misanthropic little bubble, trying to avoid human contact. Long may it continue.

– Russ L



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