During the support act’s increasingly fun set, made fun by the ever smiling chipmunk-like drummer, Brother Ali informed a friend of mine that he didn’t know he’d been scheduled for this show, so he hadn’t got his DJ with him, and instead would be playing off a CD. Normally you’d think this would turn the show the wrong way, but with Ali, you’re gonna get a party whoever is in charge of the beat.
So when he took to the stage, DeeJayBird was getting to grips with the equipment to play the CD from and the tightly packed crowd were baying for the opening to what was promising to be one hell of a night. Standing tall, he began with a medley of classic beats of old, ciphering his way through the intro before busting out the tracks that we’d all piled in to hear.
He brought out the old favourites, Self Taught and the anti-beauty anthem Forest Whitaker, turning the venue into an all-clapping, all-singing, all-dancing congregation as we proclaimed “you ain’t gotta love me”. The albino MC also treated us to some cuts from his almost-upon-us album The Undisputed Truth, with Truth Is… and Uncle Sam Goddamn proving that he’s motoring on with as much skill, style and flavour as ever before.
As the set came to a close and I had sweated out yet another pint, he asked us what other songs we wanted to hear, because he felt bad for only bringing a few beats with him, and after much cat-calling, he picked up on Dorian and Room With A View and gave a full accapella of both, delighting us all as he stepped off the stage deserving every word of praise he got.
The truth is here, and it’s Brother Ali.
Photo by Chris McShee.