Call me Russ L

I took her to Selfridges, then found out they don’t sell fridges

Posted in Music by Russ L on 12 May, 2006

And so it came to pass that, on Sunday the 7th of May, my old homegenerickitchenimplement Matt and I headed into Birmingham in the car he’s just bought. It’s one nearby loud noise away from disintegrating before our very eyes, but bless its little internally-combusting heart.

It was to The Academy (bah. This year has been better than last in terms of gigs I want to see not happening there, at least), for The Streets. We arrived to find Professor Green already on stage. I didn’t know he was supporting but was happy to find him there, since he was the winner of the rap battle held last time we went to see The Streets. This happiness quickly faded as the fact dawned that the muffled sound meant I couldn’t make out a word he was saying. Hip-hop suffers from bad sound more than anything else, so that put the tin hat on that one really.

Sway was on second, who I was looking forward to seeing. The sound got a bit better (still not brilliant, though), but ambient background trouble continued as it began to dawn on me that it really was fairly hot in there. Sway’s actual set was a game of two halves (Saint); his tunes are ace, witty hip-hop delivered with no end of charisma, but the sheer amount of crowd participation bits got on my nerves. It felt like every second minute he was launching into a “When I say this and that, you say the other” bit, or a “Is Birmingham liver than Uzbekistan? (*cheer*) Is Birmingham liver than The Democratic Republic Of The Congo? (*cheer*)” bit. It really was overdone and killed the momentum. When he eventually got around to that unimportant music bit he was pretty good. Shame there wasn’t more of it.

By the time that The Streets were on, the heat was unbearable. Really, really bad. The whole set was a resistance trial, struggling to watch and listen while wanting to just melt into a puddle of goo on the floor. This is probably a large chunk of the reason why I found this one good, but not as good as the last time I saw The Streets.

Temperature aside, I’m yet to hear the new album so this was my first chance to hear quite a few of the songs from it. None of the new ones really leapt out massively other than the already familiar “When You Wasn’t Famous,” but then again Skinner’s songs quite often aren’t as instant as that, I find. The highlights were a spaced-out “Blinded By The Lights” and an absolutely lovely “Dry Your Eyes.” It could just be the presence of Leo The Lion as a sideman, but there seemed to be an attempt at adding a more soulful edge to a lot of the old songs – worked well on some of them, less so on others.

The heat was terrible, though.

~ Russ L

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2 Responses

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  1. James said, on 13 May, 2006 at 10:12 pm

    No review of Tarantula AD? Come on!

  2. Russ L said, on 14 May, 2006 at 10:36 am

    I have an obscene amount of writing to get through. It’s not top priority.


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