Despite having their music featured in Heroes, The O.C and Spiderman 3, Rogue Wave has never truly managed to become a household name. This isn’t through a lack of trying from frontman Zach Rogue, who has managed to switch out three bassists during the band’s eight year existence. Their latest offering on Brushfire Records offers some of their most polished and commercially accessible material to date, but never experiments to the point that you’ll want to seek them out in the future.

The Californian five set has spent the last year in Mississippi working on Permalight, their fourth studio album. None of the twelve tracks ever break new ground, but they’re produced well and offer an enjoyable, if slightly shallow experience.

Solitary Gun opens with some twisting vocals that feel like they’ve been ripped straight off the latest Kings of Leon record. Thankfully this intro is quickly replaced by a drum beat and guitar part that effectively conveys their trademark sense of pace and distance. The lyrics are deceptively optimistic, initially describing the process of moving on with ‘Go to where the people go/ we’ll dig some decent wine’. However, fans who look deeper will realise that underneath the light chord changes is a warning of escape, echoing in the chorus’ tag line ‘They’re putting clothes to flame, an imaginary sun/ a little boot heel down for a solitary gun’. It’s a rare creative moment and one which is unfortunately ruined by an oddly placed synth sequence at the end of the track.

Good Morning (The Future) jumps between traditional indie rock and the electro influence of The Postal Service, confidently replacing the bass sections with a loud, thumping digital replacement. It ticks all of the right boxes for casual listeners, but feels overly familiar for anyone who has been following the alternative rock genre over the past few years.

Rogue Wave truly make a mark when they strip away the numerous instrumental layers and allow you to appreciate just a couple of parts individually. Fear Itself stands out with its calming, pitch perfect vocals and simplistic guitar parts, sweeping delicately into the chorus with some thoughtful string sections. The crashing bass pedal of drummer Pat Spurgeon gives an excellent contrast to the tranquil harmony of Zach Rogue, elevating the scale of the song far beyond their more acoustic rivals.

Each track on Permalight commendably tries a new approach to presenting Rogue Wave’s musical style, but only ever manages to mimic the success of other bands. It feels like the group is always timidly testing the water, hoping to please absolutely everybody by offering a track that they’ve already heard elsewhere. Until they take the artistic leap of sticking to one, unique musical style they will always be seen as second place to the artists that they’re emulating. It’s frustrating to see Rogue Wave fail to meet the potential that their label and fans can clearly see, especially when there are a few peppered moments of brilliance on each of their records.

Zack Rogue torments the listener by presenting his band’s pinnacle track at the very end. Concluding Permalight with just over sixty seconds of fantastically minimalist instrumentals, it echoes everything that Rogue Wave could, and should become. Commercial radio stations will lap this record up because of its uplifting vibe and accessible lyrics, but those looking for a full set of creative songs will need to wait for the inevitable next installment.

Official site:
Order Permalight:


The BBC is apparently too large. So much niche and dead weight has accumulated on the behemoth’s website that the license fee simply cannot afford to keep funding it. The large quantities that are needed to maintain quality in the BBC’s primary services, such as terrestrial channels and FM radio stations is becoming harder to obtain. The ridiculous answer is to axe some of its services, including the highly prolific BBC 6 Music.

The buzz slogan that is being thrown around by their office monkeys is the need for ‘quality, rather than quantity’. By narrowing the outlets of the BBC and ensuring that they are of the highest impeccable standard, they believe the company will keep its reputation as the flagship of British broadcasting. I can agree that there maybe some truth in the outlook that proving a few excellent services, rather a dozen poor ones, is a better path to strive for.

Yet I would argue that Mark Thompson, the current Director-General of the BBC has forgotten that his company should be the safe haven of public service broadcasting. That is, to provide a range of services to our society that meets every niche and minority audience’s needs. No group should be left neglected and no service should be cut in the economic hunt for larger audiences and listeners.

BBC 6 Music was set up eight years ago and has always brought in a steady audience that is respectable for its platform. It’s important to remember that 6 Music is digital and online only. Most house owners still don’t have a DAB radio in their kitchen and it’s even rarer to be able to pick it up in your car. Tucked away in one of the darkest recesses of the BBC’s website, this is a service that listeners have sought out time and time again from the comfort of their personal computers.

George Lamb, presenter for BBC 6 Music's weekend mornings

The presence of DJs such as Jarvis Cocker and Steve Lamacq has arguably raised the credibility of the station far above the naivety of Radio 1 alternatives Greg James and Westwood. The management team behind 6 Music are intelligent enough to put bands in their live lounge that are exciting and fresh, waiting to break through and utterly deserving of commercial success. In comparison, the Radio 1 Live Lounge has become a place for millionaire musicians to plug their record for the umpteenth time and guarantee that it loiters in the charts for another fortnight.

The 620,000 weekly viewers and 73,000+ Facebook protesters believe that BBC 6 Music is a public service worth saving. To put it into perspective, the tiny online radio station (that has only had one TV advertisement that I can remember) attracts a bigger community than The Times, a daily newspaper distributed in newsagents everywhere.

BBC Radio Asian Network
is also set to be slashed. When it was created, I’m sure BBC officials would have proclaimed it as a fundamental and crucial public service for the Asian community. What will their excuse be now? Something along the lines of: “Actually, we don’t feel they need it any more”?! The British Asian community has, if anything, probably grown in recent years and therefore needs the service more than ever.

If the BBC needs to save money, why not cut the ridiculously high celebrity staff wages? Quality need not be expensive. Talented presenters and DJs should stay at the BBC for the pride of working in one of the most dynamic broadcasting companies in the world. Those that are concerned only by their pay packet should be swapped for individuals who respect the position. That way maybe we could save a couple of radio stations that Britain has grown to love.

Photography by Kate Green

The shrill, formidable cry of fifteen year-old teenagers echoes throughout the miniaturised stadium with frightening ferocity. The entrance of vocalist Hayley Williams skipping onto the stage (and now sporting long blonde hair) is enough to send the army of converse and skinny jeans strapped youngsters into a frenzy of lust.

Supporting acts Now, Now Every Children, Paper Route and You Me At Six are strangely quiet, but Paramore rectifies this by launching onto the stage with incredible volume. The introductory riff of their 2009 record Brand New Eyes lifts everyone in the stands up onto their feet, clapping in rhythm as they wait for Hayley’s voice to penetrate.

Yet despite being three albums strong (their latest claiming the UK no.1 in September) Hayley Williams’ voice begins rather nervously. Her projection is absent in the first two songs of their set list, setting a timid start to the final leg of their fall tour. Fortunately, all of the fans that have made it to London are singing in unison and help save the show until Hayley can find her way.

Guitarists Josh Farrow and Taylor York are flawless from the very beginning, working together beautifully with obvious practise and experience. That’s What You Get really signals the start of the Wembley performance, as all five members pour out their energy into keeping the crowd satisfied. Hayley jumps and kicks her way across the stage in a red tank top vest, gripping a striped red and yellow microphone without a hint of discomfort. Her diaphragm seems at ease and allows her to hit all the difficult notes, even throwing in some spoken lyrics to keep the live performance unique.

The backdrop behind them is a stereotypical red curtain, peppered with hanging art frames that mimic the artwork from Brand New Eyes. New tracks Turn It Off and Looking Up build on the ‘feel good’ atmosphere resonating from the band’s speakers, with some exceptional stand out fills from drummer Zac Farro. This leads into the halfway point, where the lights dim and Hayley addresses the crowd directly. They’ve received a letter recently and decide to call a couple to the stage, standing back with glee as a twenty-something male proposes to his girlfriend. It’s a nice touch and gives the band some time to thank their team and fans, ending with a triumphant ‘We. Are. Paramore!’ before catapulting themselves into the next track.

Sell out tours and a strong global presence means that Paramore have a large selection of singles to choose from. As a result none of their set list feels like its been made to fill time, with a few obscure choices from 2005 record All We Know Is Falling actually helping to give the performance its own personality. Emotional ballad The Only Exception calls for the crowd to raise their lighters and mobile phones, a now rather generic ploy to increase audience participation. Still, it has the desired effect and pulls everyone together, heightening the experience for their last trio of hits.

Misery Business might be overplayed by radio stations and Guitar Hero fanatics, but it still manages to burrow into the hearts of their listeners. Everyone bounces along with smiles plastered across their faces, the note perfect performance giving everyone a reason to cheer the Tennessee rockers along. Brick By Boring Brick ends the show on a fantastic high, the deep lyrics and catchy riffs signifying how the band have matured over the past 5 years. Watching them bow to the crowd, I must admit I was a little disappointed to see them leave without a true encore. However, if they can continue to make music at this standard – I think we’ll be seeing Paramore return to London for many years to come.

Main Set

1. Brand New Eyes Intro
2. Ignorance
3. I Caught Myself
4. That’s What You Get
5. Looking Up
6. Crushcrushcrush
7. Turn It Off
8. The Only Exception
9. Pressure
10. Careful
11. Where The Lines Overlap
12. Decode
13. My Heart


1. Misguided Ghosts
2. Misery Business
3. Brick By Boring Brick

After 50 years the label is as iconic as ever

After 50 years the label is as iconic as ever

Island Records could be argued as one of the most influential music labels in not only the United Kingdom, but the rest of the world. Fifty years on from its small Jamaican origins, BBC4 has created an enthralling documentary on how Island has evolved and progressed into the label we know today.

Interviews with creator Chris Blackwell, Bono, Rita Marley and Cat Stevens make this a complete and satisfying ninety minutes, offering insights into signings that might otherwise be forgotten. With a huge showcase of classic performances and tracks, you’ll find yourself humming along to the hits of your generation without fail. Even if viewers are unfamiliar with the music industry, there is no reason to turn this down when the narration of Island’s history is so simple and clear.

Island Records started out as a UK import label of Jamaican ska music, but grew into a home that any creative artist could sign onto. Offering freedom and unlimited time with producers in the studio, Blackwell continuously discovered acts that resonated with the underground music scene. Hearing the stories of how Roxy Music, King Crimson, U2 and Bob Marley & The Wailers were founded one after the other is almost unbelievable and will hopefully strike a chord with the generation too young to remember Island’s beginnings.

Chris Blackwell, founder of Island Records

Chris Blackwell, founder of Island Records

In an age where record sales are falling and the trust of labels is diminishing, it’s refreshing to hear this heart warming story of a few men who simply loved releasing high quality music to the world. Towards the end of the programme I found myself slightly tiring with the interviewees and less interested in the artists (the signing of the Sugababes was lacklustre to say the least) but it managed to hold together until the end running time. After this fascinating documentary is Island at the BBC, which shows footage of Island artists performing at the renowned British broadcaster.

If you’re a fan of any artist signed to Island, or simply looking for something better than a game show on a Saturday night, this trip down memory lane is well worth taking.

Available on 12" vinyl and CD

Available on 12" vinyl and CD

Reclusive singer-songwriter Justin Vernon has taken a slightly unorthodox route into musical acclaim. His debut album ‘For Emma, Forever Ago’ was recorded almost entirely in a remote cabin, isolated from the world after falling sick with mononucleosis and breaking up with his girlfriend and band.

Without even intending to write or record, Vernon came across the French name Bon Iver and experimented with music in a bedridden state. The result was a haunting, echoing acoustic debut that somehow comforted and frightened the listener all at once.

Blood Bank was released in January 2009, a follow up four track EP that branches Vernon’s lyrical themes into new ground. While ‘Flume’ was sombre in tone “I move in water, shore to shore/ nothing’s more” this EP’s title track is full of hope. In a chance meeting that leaves him caught in the snow with another woman, the words are uplifting and speak of innocent feelings. It’s a shame that the unnerving electronic scratches and scrapes have been removed, but in the song’s context it works just fine. The ghostly humming and minimalist chords sway into the intro and as soon as Vernon opens his mouth, you know that all of his signature elements are in-tact.

Fans are rightly sceptical that after so much success, this EP is just a way to keep people’s interest ticking over. The inclusion of a backing band means that this short collection feels more generic, understandably a safe bet after such an experimental predecessor. Without the background ambience of Justin Vernon moving around his cabin or the harsh weather just beyond the windows, some of the atmosphere that made his work so desolate has been lost. However, the Fleet Foxes style of vocals and sweeping pace means that even with a small step backward, this is a rung above the rest

Justin Vernon, 28, from Wisconsin

Justin Vernon, 28, from Wisconsin

It falls to the a capella ‘Woods’ to really bring out the glimpses of Bon Iver’s mastery. Harmonised with multiple layers and repeated time and time again, it never grows old as the lyrics spin out for nearly five minutes. Beach Baby is a fairly standard affair, sounding very reminiscent of Blindsided from his previous release.

Cryptic lyrics of “But don’t lock when your fleeing/ I’d like not hear keys” will leave even the most keen enthusiasts with differing interpretations. The 16 minutes running time ends with Babys, a track with a teasing piano introduction just waiting for the vocals to ease back in. The lyrics exit on a moral high, leaving Blood Bank with a strange sense of resolution.

Newcomers should definitely check out the superior ‘For Emma, Forever Ago’ first, but this EP is still a worthy addition to the American’s portfolio.

Unless you’re a keen fan of anime or Japanese music, you probably won’t have heard of this group. Oreskaband are an all female, six member ska band from Sakai in Japan that started out when they were in middle school. The band name, Oreskaband literally translates to ‘we’re a ska band’ and plays on some gender formalities in Japanese culture (ore is a very masculine way to say ‘I’). This is personified by the male, punky school uniforms that they wear on stage and in their videos.

Ikasu, Tae, Leader, Saki, Moriko and Tomi make up Oreskaband

Ikasu, Tae, Leader, Saki, Moriko and Tomi make up Oreskaband

They began in 2003, meeting after school and playing at every local club they could find. They self-produced their first album, Penpal in 2005 before signing onto Sony Music in 2006 while they were still in high school. Ska isn’t really a growing genre at the moment, so to have such a youthful, modern take on it is really unique. The lyrics are catchy and their big smiles on stage make them instantly likable.

A large array of instruments and harmonies mean that each song is recognizable, but completely different from the rest of their material. After doing an advert for the popular Japanese sweet ‘Pocky’, their popularity skyrocketed a few years ago and they were asked to do some much larger venues in Japan. Their songs have even featured in the credits of the highly popular shows Bleach and Naruto.

With a few smaller albums under their belts, they compiled their best tracks into a self titled album for America. Supporting the Vans Warped Tour for the past two years, it looks like Oreskaband are just starting to build a reputation on Western shores. Having left education early, they take their music seriously now and are well underway with writing for their new album. A teaser trailer showed them starring in an upcoming movie, so the six teenagers from Sakai are definitely driving forward. From the album released in America, I recommend checking out the tracks Pinnocchio and Chuck.

Official Website
Official Myspace
English translated blog

The Dykeenies

As I walked into the Cellars Bar in Portsmouth, I have to say I wasn’t expecting much. The venue looked barely bigger than my lounge, and nobody milling about looked like the type to go to gigs. So why were they here to check out a band NME Magazine have said could be bigger than The Killers? Scottish band The Dykeenies were set to play tonight, in a bar that wouldn’t have looked out of place in Only Fools and Horses. NME have said The Dykeenies are “Scotland’s biggest and best new band… a weird and utterly brilliant hybrid of The Killers and Panic! At The Disco. Only they’ll probably end up bigger than both.”  I was here to find out how true that was.

This wasn’t helped by the fact that the first support act were all wearing matching suits with added neckties. I didn’t catch their name, and to be frank I’m glad I didn’t. They were just like every other indie band breaking onto the scene.

The second support act were a lot better. Telegraphs are from Brighton, and they burst on to the stage with an energy and excitement that’s rare to see at gigs this small. A girl and guy singer combination worked really well, with great harmonies and swirling guitars. Vocalists Hattie Williams and Darcy Harrison were particularly impressive, and they got the crowd going with handclaps and head nods all around the venue. New single I Don’t Navigate By You is out now and was the highlight of the set, along with The Rules Of Modern Policing and Your First Love Is Dead. Telegraphs are definitely a band to check out and are sure to go far in the local gigging scene.

And then the moment everyone had been waiting for. The Dykeenies came out to possibly the best song ever – I Am The One and Only by Chesney Hawkes. By now the gig had got horrendously hot, with people stripping off left right and centre. The band emerged with cheeky grins and wine, and from then on it was sure to be a great gig. They opened with new free download singleAre You With Me Now?, which was quite a risky move. Surprisingly many people already knew the words; these were hardcore fans. The band had such a great energy about them, with frontman Brian Fire cracking jokes and bassist Andrew Henderson also on great form.

This is a band that could’ve gone either way live – with their synthesizers and ambitious vocals, they would either be one of the best or one of the worst. And thankfully, they were the former. Fire was better live than on their album Nothing Means Everything, from which they played singles Stitches, Clean Up Your Eyes and New Ideas, along with album tracks Things You Cannot See, Pick You Up, Feels Like Sleep and Waiting For Go. New songs were also well received, with Traps gaining the best reception after singles Are You With Me Now? and Sounds Of The City. Fire showed off his lyrics with clever lines such as ‘If you help me through this I’ll hurt you I promise’ – you can see where the Panic At The Disco comparison comes from. Guitarist Steven Ramsay was also impressive, with drummer John Kerr getting the most flack for getting the rhythm wrong on song Feels Like Sleep. The fans didn’t seem to mind – the mood was jovial by this point, and more than a fair few of the audience had had quite a few shandies by then…

Without meaning to take anything away from the band, I didn’t expect a lot from this gig. I didn’t think there would be many fans, and I was scared that they wouldn’t live up to the quality of their album. Thankfully I was blown away, and I would recommend going to see this band to anyone. Their new album is set to be a scorcher.

Full setlist:

  1. Are You With Me Now?
  2. Things You Cannot See
  3. Pick You Up
  4. Square Balloons
  5. Stitches
  6. Traps
  7. New Ideas
  8. Fade Out In The Sun
  9. Feels Like Sleep
  10. Sounds Of The City
  11. Clean Up Your Eyes
  12. Awake
  13. Waiting For Go

More info can be found about the band here

The Telegraphs can be checked out here

To check out who’s playing at Cellars Bar, click here

Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon’s downloadable media player Spotify seems to be the next big online bandwagon. With just over 250,000 UK users, this social media phenomenon still has a way to go to reach the cult status enjoyed recently by the social network Twitter but with news coverage appearing across the globe Spotify is well on its way.

The concept behind the media player is instant access to millions of songs, streaming live from the internet to your PC without having to download them. The best part is, it’s free! Well, to a certain extent. On the Spotify homepage you can select the free version, which means you have to listen to an advert every few songs, a day pass which allows you ad-free content for 24 hours for £0.99 and the premium service which allows the user to stream music, with no ads, straight to their PC for £9.99 a month.

The site also provides the ability to create and share playlists with friends and family online. This is being described as one of the service’s greatest functions, bringing together users through the medium of music. Users like Sur Duke create playlists and post them on the internet to share with everyone. The creator Daniel Ek has said, “We are huge music fans ourselves,”.

“We set up Spotify to cater for that demand, but, at the same time, create a functioning revenue stream for artists and labels.”

The site is being praised as a revolution in digital music listening and some of the big names in the industry are hoping it will bring an end to illegal file sharing. Others, though, are worried about the effect it will have on ownership. Even with the millions of songs already online, Spotify have still only got access to around 5% of the music industries content. The application has sparked a lot of controversy on recent weeks at a time when music copyright hasn’t really been out of the news.

Spotify functions beautifully, is incredibly user friendly and it looks good too. There is still a long way to go to get more users and more content and there will more than likely be a few more disputes over copyright ownership and infringement between the Spotify owners and the music industry.

Every year at Christmas, I usually end up with at least one gift voucher for a music store such as HMV or Virgin Megastores. Since my early teenage years I took great pride in walking in and perusing every album on the shelves. My eyes could look for easily over an hour, finally deciding on the perfect way to get value for money. Buying an album has always meant a lot to me. It makes me feel like an enthusiast, a part of the music community and a supporting fan of that particular artist. A gift voucher was like Willy Wonka’s golden ticket. Until I was old enough to have a part time job, I would cherish it with my life.


Once I was home from the record store, I would put the CD on and lie on my bed so that I could listen from start to finish. During that time I’d be able to take in the artwork of the album case and read through the booklet with complete content. This regime obviously doesn’t apply to everyone, but I feel that for the past few decades the ideal of a physical collection has been really important. Whether it is vinyl, cassette or CD.

This year though, I opened my card to find an iTunes voucher inside. I was instantly elated, having only recently started using the Apple software to store my music collection. I had never really looked at the iTunes Store before and wasn’t really sure how it worked. My brother explained to me how I would go about it and once I reflected I was slightly disappointed. I had thought that maybe I would walk into the Apple store on the High Street, where they would have their own choice of records and I could continue my tradition. No, instead I would be doing this online. As I booted up the software I began clicking through a few pages and felt my heart sank.

The fact that I had received a gift for Christmas was something I should be eternally grateful for, and I was. However, knowing that I was going to be spending that money on a file, something I wouldn’t be able to touch or keep on a bookshelf felt wrong. Is this the way all of our music collections will be going? Rather than going out to the independent music stores, we will just be sitting at a screen ordering with the click of a button? Illegal file sharing may be becoming ever prominent for youths, but for those of us that still buy records the future is already arriving. Rather than flicking through cases, we’ll be scrolling through music applications.

For some this digitalisation may not be an issue, but I’ll miss having an ever-growing CD collection. Seeing the independent shops close and even the larger chains such as Zavvi go down is a saddening thought on the shift of our industry. With CD sales decreasing year on year, it will be interesting to see how artists will continue to source their income. Does Apple give artists the same profit chunk as traditional labels did? I’m not sure. Regardless, it seems that soon the CD collection will be just like Vinyl. A retro niche, overshadowed by the next technological step.

When you think of the UK hip hop scene, usually you don’t think of two white middle aged men sporting beards or sideburns. This is with good reason though, because Dan le Sac vs Scroobius Pip aren’t your usual UK hip hop act. Hailing from Stanford-le-Hope in Essex, the duo have more than made a name for themselves after competing with Rage Against The Machine for the audience at this year’s Reading Festival.

Their most recent album, Angles, was released earlier this year, featuring their signature track “Thou Shalt Always Kill” which broke into the UK Top 40. So what makes these two unique? Unlike the stereotypes of their genre Scroobius Pip rhymes with passion and intellect, producing prose that can be both comical and thought provoking within an instant. Dan le Sac on the other hand is in charge of the sampling and DJ decks, occasionally unleashing his own voice in tracks such as “Look For The Woman”.

On the 29 of October The Old Fire Station opened its doors to the student demographic in Bournemouth. Inviting the cold in for an evening that would be both different and more entertaining than the usual clubbing culture, at first glance it seemed like the turnout might be poor. Rest assured though when Kid Carpet came on for the headline supporting act, the floor filled. An electro musician from Bristol, the male in his twenties was quick to introduce himself and a snippet of the array of instruments he was about to use.

“This here is my guitar. I have to strum the air like this for it to work see.” Holding a small neck from a guitar, he points to the bottom where an infra-red sensor is placed. Quickly he waves his hand in front of it, once up and once down in quick succession to show the difference between an upstroke and down stroke. It sounds ridiculous, but as soon as it’s accompanied by a series of melodies the concept seems genius. Walking round the stage with jarring movements, Kid Carpet has as much if not more energy than the crowd he’s performing to. Which is a good thing, because before long the once placid degree hopefuls are bouncing up and down and cheering when a new recognisable sample comes in.

Merchandise is being sold in the corner, subtlety being plugged by the artists in between their songs. T-shirts, albums, flyers and even LP records are scattered across the table in the dimly lit corner. With good reason, being in an economic climate where album sales are lower than ever, this is the time for artists to make their wages and spread the word for themselves.

Once his half hour is up Kid Carpet puts down the fisher price tape recorder that he’s been using for his last song, bowing graciously and taking up the microphone originally meant for him to sing in. “Are you guys ready for Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip?” He calls out to the crowd, to which he receives a well deserved roar. “Then my job here is done.”

You wouldn’t think that The Old Fire Station could get any busier on a Wednesday night, yet somehow the first sighting of Dan Le Sac on stage brings a throng truly worthy of the headlining partnership. As they announce their gratitude for having us all packed into such a tight space, with true respect Dan Le Sac is already sporting one of Kid Carpet’s t-shirts. It’s great to see the music community supporting one another. Adjusting his trucker hat Scroobius Pip is ready and their first track “Beat that my heart skipped” begins, instantly sending the audience into a chant of “Boom, boom, boom.” With a smile Scroobius Pip raises his microphone stand into the crowd, giving the ok sign to show his approval. It’s easy to see that these two enjoy the music they make and both Dan le Sac and Scroobius Pip pull off their opening with poetic flow.

‘Magician’s Assistant’ and ‘Angels’ bring a much darker tone to the set, sending Bournemouth into a hushed silence as the themes of suicide and violent points of view are explored. The lyrics show a depth that is probably more mature than many poets their age, but in a musical context it also adds to the mood and overall entertainment. This is where the mix of prose and hip hop links so well and they quickly change the mood and address this with “Fixed”. The song uses a riff from Dizzee Rascal’s “Fix Up, Look Sharp” to comment on his argued shallow climb to the top of the charts and the current state of UK Hip Hop.

They leave their most famous song “Thou shalt always kill” until the latter half of their set list when they have finished some of their playful banter. Using a large book Scroobius Pip reads like a prophet, turning the pages as he raps over what he believes society should and should not adhere too. Strangely though, even with a call from the crowd for the song “Tommy C” they leave it out of their performance, perhaps unprepared or simply running out of time. As is now customary to nearly any gig, they are brought back on for an encore after exiting and saying thank you to The Old Fire Station.

As if on a whim Scroobius Pip calls out for Kid Carpet to return to the stage and the trio ignite the crowd once more with a hardcore version of “Nightclub” by The Specials. Perhaps an odd choice of song for some, but the students seemed to show their approval by producing a mosh pit any metal band would be proud of. Although not mainstream or stereotypical enough to please everyone, Dan le Sac vs Scroobius Pip is definitely an act worth checking out if you’re prepared to spend some time with it. For a weekday evening I left the student bar with a grin plastered across my face, knowing that the eight pounds I had spent was more than value for money.

January 2019
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