20 March 2010

LIVE - Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip @ O2 Academy 2, Liverpool - 19.03.2010

It's fairly safe to say I was one of only two people wearing a shirt and tie at this gig (the other being Pip himself) and I was certainly the only person to be wearing a cardigan. They're not exactly hip hop clobber, unless you're involved at the rather nerdy end of the rap spectrum. Instead, tracksuits and trainers are the preferred uniform, as opening act Sound Of Rum adhere to. Frontwoman Kate looks as if she'd be more at home mugging you for lunch money than rapping on a stage. It's refreshing to hear live instrumentation (actual drums, guitar and bass) in hip-hop than simply relying on laptops etc. Although this means SOR occasionally veer close to rap-rock, it's never too much of a concern and they provide a lot of fun for a support act.

Arriving on stage in what appears to be a Chinese Alan Partridge mask, with a beard to rival Pip's and a bulk to rival Giant Haystacks, B. Dolan has a pretty immediate stage presence. His first bit of banter; "It's my first time here and I only know one thing about Liverpool. That thing is.... the women are loose". Whilst I won't comment on that (for fear of having to deal with the backlash from female friends), Dolan's set was incredible and set the bar high for Dan and Pip: "The Reptilian Agenda", a call-and-response song revolving around the line "The Queen of England is a Lizard"; "a party jam about agoraphobia"; "Joan Of Arc" (dedicated to "Sarah Palin; my muse, my sexual chocolate") whose chorus goes "Joan of Arc had a dildo named Jesus/made of wood from the cross of its namesake/she considered the splinters atonement/and when she came it would fill her with light!" and a bit of audience participation in the form of Dolan stipping down to an Evil Kenivel suit and jumping over the first person to climb the barrier. You don't get this with Kings Of Leon.

Personally, I never thought of Dan and Pip being the most popular of bands. Sure, they obviously have many, many fans, that goes without saying, but selling out the Academy to a rather varied crowd wasn't something I expected. An intense, loud and sweaty gig was par for the course. Whilst I had all the movement space of a dwarf in a pillowcase, I tried my best to obey Pip and get dancing. Songs both old and new were met with near-Beatlemania shouting. Clearly Dan & Scroob fans are quick learners when it comes to lyrics. Cynics usually criticise the duo for being over-earnest, but in the live arena it's clear to see that whilst sincere, they never take themselves too seriously. With both Dan and Pip on fine form, the closing hattrick of "Thou Shalt Always Kill", "Get Better" and "Letter From God To Man" is the perfect ending that any fan could hope for.

HIGHLIGHT OF THE NIGHT: Either Dan's mid-gig biscuit craving (someone actually brought a pack with them...) or "N Dubz, get better; Chipmunk, get better; Tinchy Stryder, get better; Scroobius Pip, get better..."

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