There aren’t many things more annoying than The Streets. But when I walked into a packed Barfly, I discovered one thing that was – Someone trying to BE The Streets. Thankfully who it was that was offending my ears left two songs later and I was able to enjoy the main support for the night – Sway.
Sway isn’t the most active performer on stage, he doesn’t dance around, he doesn’t even really move but his charisma and interaction with the crowd means he doesn’t have to. Joking with the crowd about how Scottish fans weren’t keen on his Union Jack bandana representing them, he launched into his verse from the Mitchell Brother’s Harvey Nicks, before doing his big songs, Little Derek, new single Products [“If you want to buy it, go buy it. If you don’t want to buy it, go buy it”] and his credit card hating Flo Fashion. Testing the crowd’s hip hop knowledge he dropped Dead Prez and MC Hammer, with a bit of Blur’s Parklife in between, and then finished off with the anthem to end them all, Up Your Speed. Absolutely brilliant.
Then it was time for Spank Rock to [finally] take the stage around 10.50. I must start by saying that I was standing in what was undoubtedly one of the worst crowds I’ve ever seen in my life – It was like standing in Madame Tussauds, with people seemingly only there to gain scene points for seeing a much touted band at a small venue, which is a shame for Spank Rock because their party infused electro-hip hop deserved a better crowd than this. Backyard Betty kicked things off and lead into Rick Rubin with What It Look Like being thrown in before we were told it was MC Spank Rock’s birthday and that the crowd needed to dance because the band had just got off the plane and were “drunk as shit”.
Thankfully for them, the introduction of the woman that had been sitting at the side of the stage, and who had been claiming much of MC Spank Rock’s attention in between songs, got things a little more amped. She jumped up to dance and stole the stage by rapping loudly and brashly as the rapper girated around her to the tunes of Bump. The heavy bass made me think the ceiling was about to cave in and the bleeping stunted melodies which are scattered throughout their album Yoyoyoyoyo sounded as crisp as a Gary Lineker fronted advert and when they hit Sweet Talk, they finally saw some movement in the crowd.
If they’d been infront of a crowd real hip hop heads, they would’ve had a better atmosphere to perform around, but regardless of the static crowd, they put on an energetic show with much booty shaking on stage. Next time they come over, make sure you check them out, but for their music, not for the kudos of listing the event on your MySpace page.