Electric Picnic 09 - Sugarhill Gang
Electric Arena, Sunday 6th September, 2pm
Almost an hour later than scheduled, due to apparent rogue heavy machinery trying to stage invade during our boys Two Door Cinema Club's set and New Jersey's finest finally rock up. Sure they're older than our da, but gone are the spandex and dayglo in favour of thinking gentleman's B-boy attire but they still look pretty fly. This is age-appropriate Sugarhill Gang. There is very little, if any cussing, just funky beats, charm and some badass basslines from Master Gee, Wonder Mike, DJ Rob da Noize and Hendogg. We have to respect that. They can bring some street, but you don't have to hide grandma or the kids. Unless, of course, you want to...
Describe in a tweet: The original Bloc Party in the house (ok then, tent...).
Good Vibrations: Consumate pros, its all about call and response, banter with the crowd and playing the hits. We're talking era shaking hits like 'Rapper's Delight' and their version of Apache. Despite having a massive fallout over sampling rights back in the day, Nile Rodgers had paid homage on the very same stage the previous night to the crew's "appropriation" of his bass riff but its still great to hear the original flavour delivered by rap's first top ten artists. They seem to be representing all old school hip-hop, even dropping some beats from their counterparts across the Hudson, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. Oh, here's 'The Message' and the evergreen 'White Lines' popping into the setlist..? Don't mind if we do.
Life's a beach: Halfway through and Master Gee gets behind the kit and the others assume positions on keys and bass for a full live band run through of some funk numbers. We're impressed, but at times it comes loose and we'd rather the beats were anchored from a set of decks than a drumstool. We're not convinced the live tribute to Jacko was that well advised. You can try to play the Billie Jean beat, but if you ain't got Quincy Jones at the sound desk, it's always going to sound weak in comparison. We feel the love though.
EP rating: 8/10