Don't skip these beats.
When you are stuck in the office all day the last thing you want to have at night is to be lectured at so when a band is setting up, there are some things you don't want to see. These would include projectors, flip-chart paper and clipboards. Thankfully though, it was all in the name of entertainment as Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip built their mini-tour around a loose concept of motivational speaking. This even carried across to the act wearing shirts and ties on stage, although don't be fooled into thinking this is a straight laced outfit.
There are bands out there who have to indicate their fun and whacky side through costumes and idiocy (yes, this is a jibe at The Hoosiers and their music for morons) but a genuine act can get their exuberance across in their music. Word may be spreading slowly about Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip but when you consider the gig came a few days after T in the Park and was competing against Santogold and Operator Please on the same night in Glasgow; it was a sizeable crowd who had gathered in the Oran Mor.
The first topic for the motivational element was “Love” which was kicked off by 'The Beat That My Heart Skipped', the album opener. Mr. Pip, the strangely bearded front man, was soon into his stride and his rapid flow and sensible rhyming was infectious and uplifting. They may not be the most conventional of hip hop acts and it’s true to say they bring in a raft of other influences but the storytelling element of their songs is a strong backbone of the act. And if you weren't convinced by the hip-hop credentials of the band, a new track had the band name-checking some of the greats of the genre and showed the crowd where their hearts really lie. It all tied in neatly with the education feel of the evening and learning about the origins and development of rap and hip-hop is as worthwhile a topic to study as any.
The main lyrical element may come from raps and rhymes but one of the surprising issues is how good a singing voice Mr. Le Sac has and it is put to good use on previous single 'Look For The Woman' When the chorus kicks in and the otherwise quiet DJ takes to the microphone, the crowd is able to join in and sway with proceedings.
A sure fire way for a band to get more recognition is to use a sample and the use of 'Planet Telex' by Radiohead should draw a lot more listeners to the act. New single 'Letter from God to Man' uses the sample but in a very organic way and it blends around the main body of the song with ease.
Highlights of the set were numerous but two songs made their mark for very different reasons. 'Beautiful' is a wry look at how the word has possibly lost its meaning due to overuse these days but on the surface; it was a straightforward tribute to Tommy Cooper. Summoning all his lyrical prowess, Scroobius Pip was able to weave the fun and joy of Tommy Cooper's life story into an allegory for today which had the crowd singing along. With images of the late comedian appearing on the screen behind the band, the fun factor was pretty high. However, as soon as you were thinking that the best song of the night had come and gone just like that (sorry), the act launched into 'Thou Shalt Always Kill!'
One of the underground hits of 2007, this track probably launched DLSVSP into more minds than any other and its live incarnation lived up to its weighty billing. It may seem like a straightforward list song but the humour and intelligence contained within it helps the track stand out from any of it peers. The call and response element where the MC shouts a name of a popular act and the crowd roars back “Just a band” was warmly received and went some way to making it more like a rock show whilst ironically downplaying the importance of rock bands.
Its this juxtaposition that they regularly finds themselves in that makes Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip one of the more intriguing acts of the modern day. In an industry where pigeon holing is becoming ever more frequent, a band that stands by themselves is always encouraging to witness and it is hard to see who the peers of this act are. Not that this will worry them though, with a feeling of warmth and positivity, other people will end up drawn to the act regardless of what box the machine finally puts them in!
Given that they have only just released their debut album it is probably no surprise that they have a few covers to pad out the show and the encore rocked out to two non-originals although they differed greatly. Up first was 'Nightclubbing' by The Specials which was warmly received and pogo'ed along to with this song being a clear crowd favourite. Last song of the night was a frenetic version of the Sugababes 'Push the Button.'
It wasn't the most obvious of covers and with the pace upped highly, it possibly lost a little of the class that made the original version such a clever pop song. That said DLSVSP are all about putting a smile on people's faces and as the crowd filtered out of the Oran Mor, that aim had easily been achieved.