HMV Forum, London | November 16
Gigs are often strange, largely unsatisfying situations that ask us as an audience to renegotiate our understanding of the act we’re watching. We’re forced to accept sound issues, lateness, half-arsedness, aching backs, wobbly calves and temporary tinnitus to have the privilige of being in the same room as the people we love on record. The bassist might look at us! We might get to transmit a mental “thanks for everything” to the singer via an awkward nod at the end of the show. Sometimes we come away with a grin that lasts the entirety of the bus ride home, and sometimes the moments of near transcendence make it worth the sticky floors and stale beers. But most of the time, we leave fifteen quid lighter and feeling like we probably should have stayed in with a can of Kronenburg and an episode of Taggart.
We mention all this because we usually know what we’re getting – the new stuff peppered with old favourites that get us through the drab unfamiliarity of unaccustomed songs. This sense of the routine makes it even sweeter when we witness the unexpected. Get this, this actually happened: DOOM turned up! Not an imposter, thee Metal Face Doom, with his distended gut and propensity to fashion a makeshift blowgun out of his mic! A real life Viktor Vaughn, accompanied by his larger than life hypeman and an incredible drummer! A Supervillian happy to rip through Madvilliany bangers (Accordion, Curls, Figaro, Meat Grinder, Rhinestone Cowboy)! A bloke in a dodgy red cardigan able to transfix a crowd of gunfingering, supremely stoned Supreme clad sixteen year olds and Kangol-hatted OGs in equal amounts by simply being there and doing what we’d paid him to do! There was no flash, no pizzaz, no tricks or distractions, just a very good rapper rapping very well for forty minutes. It was comfort food, and on these dark, cold nights, sometimes you need a steaming serving of hip-hop cottage pie. DOOM cooked it up for us.
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Words: Josh Baines