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the guy who invented fire
De La Soul/ Motley/ +Support @ Manchester Academy
(21st July 2002)
Fucking brilliant! Forget the usual gig review preamble. This was the wake-up call I'd been waiting for since. I don't know, whenever it was that music became so lame. A timely reminder that music really does matter.
And this was just the first act.
I have no idea who the first band on the De La bill were so I'll just have to refer to them as +Support. I've seen +Support at pretty much every gig I' ve ever been to but tonight everything came together for them. They've ditched the guitars, drums and effects pedals and opted for a mic each, a backing tape and a torrent of shouty lyrics - the effect is incredible. These guys EXPLODED and then exited stage left. Shame I only got to see two songs.
Next up come Motley, a three man team featuring super talented MC called Hash Brown and two other equally prodigious live wires whose names I didn't pick up at the time. As your committed musical mentor I endeavoured to find the monikers of t'other two when writing this review but every web search I did just pointed towards 80s super drug ponces Motley Crue.
How best to describe the Motley experience? Think of the insane energy of Jackass's best moments and add lyrical talents that make you MARVEL at how so much can be crammed into each track. These guys have personality, talent and, it would seem, ENOUGH DESIRE TO PUT ON A FUCKING PERFORMANCE.
Even I wanted to dance and y'know what? I wouldn't have felt self conscious at all cos Motley brought everyone together, made 'em put their hands in the air (they do still say that at hip-hop gigs y'know) and then proceeded to rock like bastards. No amount of guitar feedback can every accomplish what these three did tonight. The only thing that stopped me 'throwing shapes' (see what these guys did, I'm even talking like Hash Brown now!) was the fact that I was as sartorially elegant as Lester Bangs.
You need radio play to get this kind of reaction from a crowd, a couple of years playing the indie toilet circuit building up a following OR, in the case of Motley - PERSONALITY. Take note guitar bands, I'll be asking questions later.
I'd tell you when the next Motley gig was but every time I try to check I keep getting details of the latest Vince Neil solo album. change yr name lads, that's all I ask.
De La Soul. Fucking brilliant. Do you see some kind of pattern emerging? This was a PARTY with De La employing every trick in the book to make tonight ROCK. The tricks involved BEING GOOD, HAVING SONGS, and ENJOYING EVERY MINUTE. Sometimes you've got to get in yr car, drive miles, feel exhausted and then be smacked in the face by something like tonight - 3 guys who've travelled ACROSS THE ATLANTIC OCEAN - to show you there really is something to get excited about.
When was the last time you saw a band inviting the audience onto the stage? I'm not talking about Manilow's 'one special lady' style, I mean a whole freakin' stage full. I've been to many guitar band gigs and I've never seen anything like this. It's also the first time I've known a band who's had this kind of success to stay behind once the music's over to sign autographs at the front of the stage (except Lambchop, who don't really move that quick anyway.)
If you ever wondered why good old guitar bands lose out in the charts against people like Eminem who can't sing and don't even play their own instruments then go see De La Soul, Motley or even +Support.
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