Skip to main content

REDMAN and MOBB DEEP Live Reviews, Melody Maker, 1995

REDMAN / MOBB DEEP 
DIGBETH INSTITUTE, BIRMINGHAM 
Melody Maker, 30 September 1995


TWO GIGS separated by a fortnight, linked by a common grievance. As illustrations of the two ways a hip hop gig can go, they're pretty much perfect; as peachy-keen adverts for the ongoing sterling work of Mr Jam Promotah they're as revealing as hell.

Truly, hip hop fans are the most shat-on in the music world, and yet somehow we remain the gentlest and meekest. We just sit back (well, stand like cattle) and take it, partly outta shock, partly outta the fact that if one person admits that what they just shelled out the better part of a tenner for wasn't worth wiping on the working part of an asshole, it brings EVERYONE'S evening down with the horrible truth. If this were a goddamn indie gig we'd be tearing backstage and lynching the f***ers responsible. As it is, we're hip hop fans so we stand around and smoke and do f*** all. But we do it menacingly. Whoopee.

You wait. You go for a piss and all the lads in the bogs suddenly stop talking as you enter like you've just stumbled into the only saloon in town, minced up to the bar, ordered a creme de menthe and said, "Eeeh, you haven't flicked a duster 'round here in ages, have you?" The fumes from the Mind-Bending Drug Hashish Cannabis Resin outweigh oxygen six to one. You wait some more. And then three hours later with your arse sore and your lungs worse, Redman comes on. And, granted, he's storming. 'Time 4 Some Aktion', 'How 2 Roll A Blunt', and 'Can't Wait' in particular coming over as this huge heat-hazed ruckus; a hell-red plume of misty noise suddenly shot through with the thunking grimy beats that if anything play on and amplify the f***ed-up nature of the gig even further. Pretty soon the crowd in the pit are rocking like woozy sailors, slamming, slipping, tumbling, just a mess of blunted heads bobbing and grooving. ALMOST worth waiting for.


But what we get at Mobb Deep a fortnight later is unforgivable. Havoc is critically ill with sickle cell anaemia. That's half the band. So, instead of cancelling the gig or at least informing the punters, they make us wait for FOUR long hours, then let Prodigy announce Havoc's absence from the stage before (understandably) giving us a lacklustre set, replete with bad PA, taking the tracks from the staggering Infamous LP and merely letting them plod tepidly over our headz. No innovation, no mixing, no feel of constant live possibility that the studio-spun LP actually gives you, no point, no F***ING EXCUSES. F*** that. Next time this happens people, see the Mercedes, see the suitcase fulla YOUR readys, see the backsliding lying bastard responsible and speak with your hands. Round their bullshitting scaley wretched f***ing necks. Sort it now, Mister Man. Or die.

© Neil Kulkarni, 1995

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

MANIC STREET PREACHERS, ASTORIA, LONDON, 1994, LIVE REVIEW, MELODY MAKER

(photo by Pat Pope, full text)  MANIC STREET PREACHERS  ASTORIA, LONDON  SORRY, lifelong fan, but I’m a new convert. I got into them a week ago and here I am. (They start with “Faster and, after the dub and horrorcore they’ve played, it jarrs and fits perfectly.) OK, see it ain’t attitude cos anyone can do that, just cock a snook and suck your cheeks. It ain’t glamour. Glamour is boring. Glamour is loud pretty people who hug, hug, hug, giggling at your geek self all night. And it ain’t rock’n’roll; it was your rock’n’roll that made a nigger-hater the King, your teddy boys who Paki-bashed for Mosley, Notting Hill 1958, your rock’#n’roll build on SAMBO DON’T SELL. I ain’t interested and the Manics are way beyond that. (“Yes” is Stjepan Mestrovic’s “Balkanisation Of The West” turned punk anthem, as if it could be any more punk. No higher compliment exists.)    The four founding points of Manics songs – one: modern life is untenable. Two: no one ever gets used to loneliness. Three: if tr…

BRITAIN SEE THYSELF PART II. A POST-REFERENDUM DIARY AND A HISTORY OF BRITISH SELF-PITY

Tuesday June 28th, 2016.

OK, a week since the vote and hey, I know the drill. Similar to those habits you kicked back into after 9-11, after 7-7. Heads down. Don't notice the people crossing the road to avoid you. Don't register any reaction to the shop assistants who drop the change with a panic'd repulsion into your foul brown palm. Keep your eyes down, no eye-contact with anyone. Get through the street to safety because the street is a place where you are a target again now, just as you were as a child. Don't ever ever relax again because that moment where your vigilance slips, when you start doubting your own paranoia, is the moment when the van draws up and three pink faces look your way grinning, when the kids see their chance to have some fun, when the guy on his bike who you hadn't thought of leans into the pavement to spit his venom, when the words will come unbidden and deafening, those words that won't just fuck up your day but will haunt your sleep, …

WHY WE MUST BAN THIS UKULELE FILTH NOW

Top Eight Worse FUCKING Ukelele FUCKING Breathy-Voiced FUCKING Covers For FUCKING Adverts

I can't think of any more because I don't want my head to explode with rage.

1. Dogs Trust - 'I Only Want To Be With You
2. Renault Zoe - That's Entertainment
3. McDonalds - Rhythm Of The Night 
4. T-Mobile - Teenage Kicks
5. Lloyds Bank - Mad World 
6. Kia - Ever Fallen In Love 
7. John Lewis - Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want
8. Chanel No.5 - You're The One That I Want 


My uke-hate I think came to a peak with an ad from last year. I blamed Lily Allen for the mannered vocal unmanneredness, Mumford & Sons for the fucking ukeleles, David Cameron for the ideological basis for it all, but it was AXA Insurance I blamed for that appaling cover of 'Little Things Mean A Lot"  and they will therefore burn for all eternity in the skin-flaying flames of hell, alongside Dave, Lily and The Mumfucks. Artists (esp. Britschool-alumni-style priveliged CatPowerfan-feckers like …