Glasgow Art School
Rating: * * * *
The Edinburgh trio have rightly turned heads in the past 12 months, not least on scooping the Mercury Music Prize from under the nose of more favoured acts.
The group have made it clear they are not fond of the hip-hop label – although their roots were in rap, they have moved on far beyond that to an enviable creative crossroads where art pop, tribal electro and Krautrock commune, but still some of their beats and backing did operate at the cutting edge between hip-hop and modern R&B.
Ally Massaquoi’s soulful vocals softened their taut intensity, though his bandmates Kayus Bankole and Graham “G” Hastings were no slouches when it came to putting across a lyric or emotion, while their tireless touring member Steven Morrison drove the performance with his cathartic drumming on stand-up kit with a chewed cymbal which looked like it had been through the wars.
Tracks from their new album White Men Are Black Men Too, such as the plaintive Dare Me and propulsive pop of Shame, built up the natural dynamism of their existing set, where the irresistible Get Up threw the audience into frenzied convulsions and the anthemic, lusty, momentous Low has become a bona fide shoutalong. They concluded dramatic proceedings with the stark electro breakdown of I Heard before abruptly exiting, their work here done.