Call it a happily freewheeling celebration of old school hip-hop led by some original rap superstars, or a will-this-do rabble of padded out borderline tribute act nostalgia. Either way, for all its shortcomings – obnoxiously overloud sound not least among them – this was a fun show in a shonky sort of way.
Sugarhill Gang Featuring The Furious Five, St Luke’s, Glasgow ***
Sugarhill Gang wrote themselves into music history back in 1979 when Rapper’s Delight became the world’s first bona-fide hip-hop chart hit.
Besides other semi-hits such as Apache – best known for featuring in a funny dance routine scene in The Fresh Prince of Belle Air, the moves from which were gleefully mimicked by many in the crowd – that’s pretty much all that music history records of the Englewood, New Jersey, ensemble, which today features two original members in Michael ‘Wonder Mike’ Wright and Guy ‘Master Gee’ O’Brien. Much rap karaoke filler ensued as they ran down the clock towards playing the song everyone had come for.
Renowned for their work with DJ/producer Grandmaster Flash, South Bronx New York City’s The Furious Five are these days down to a tenacious two, in Eddie ‘Scorpio’ Morris and the beefcake muscular Melvin ‘Melle Mel’ Glover. Sugarhill Gang threw them the stage for a bit, and after more filler, they eventually got to the point with a frustratingly abridged snippet of their best-known track The Message.
After a time, as its bassline lifted from Chic’s Good Times shook the floor and a bottle of Buckfast was passed around the stage, we got Rapper’s Delight. And that was more or less it. To say it had been a delight would be an overstatement, but neither can anyone have left disappointed. - MALCOLM JACK