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Le Sac vs Pip do Belfast
Dan Le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip
At a time when its way too easy for critics to whinge about generic indie bands sounding the same, or bandwagon jumping electro house acts, or pointless, mind-numbing UK hip hop - you really have to make the most of something genuinely different. So let's go to town on Dan Le Sac and Scroobius Pip.  Here we have 500 people watching a poet, preaching over some curiously warped beats. That different enough?

It could, of course, be irritating and pretentious. Back-alley stages at Glastonbury are, after all, full of poets and dodgy producers, ranting at anyone soft enough to listen. But Scroobius Pip seems a pretty regular guy, who just happens to have a lot on his mind and a wonderful gift for sharing it with large crowds, in a way that makes us drop every thought and listen.

Take 'Angles' and 'The Magician's Assistant'. One is about domestic violence, the other is the story of a self-harming teenager. Both are blatantly honest and direct, relevant to everyone and pretty upsetting. And that's before you get to the astonishing backing tracks - in the case of the �The Magician's Assistant', a minimal, hypnotic loop any Warp Records act would be proud of. It's strange - we're dancing, enjoying the performance, bouncing along. To tales of misery.

'The Beat My Heart Skipped' and the 'Tommy C', upbeat and positive (despite the latter essentially being about death), come as a relief. Then, 'Thou Shalt Not Kill' tears the place apart, a call and response session only matched when they take on The Specials' 'Nite Klub' as an encore.

Thankfully the sound is crystal clear all evening (it often isn't, for simple beats and rhyme), so we didn't require gimmicks to keep us interested. Nevertheless, Scroobious Pip raps on TV, via a camera in a light shade, preaches from a pulpit and dances with an old woman's clothes on a coat stand. Yes, you had to be there.

It's pretty simple - if you missed this, you really did miss out. An incredible performance and absolutely like nothing else Belfast will see this year, unless our heroes return.

We choose to believe their "best crowd ever" claims throughout the set, so here's hoping.


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Gig Details
Venue: The Limelight
Location: Belfast
Date: 4/5/2008

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