After a series of incredibly successful warm up shows late last year to promote their third studio album Repent Replenish Repeat, dan le sac vs Scroobius Pip played The Bedford Corn Exchange to round off the first leg of their massive European tour.
Opening up the show was Sarah Williams White, getting the crowd ready for the night ahead with her infectious mix of pop and R&B while wearing what at first appeared to be a onesie, but upon closer inspection turned out to be a very well co-ordinated top/trousers combo. With the only accompaniment to her vocals and synthesisers being a drum kit, the pair’s music was reminiscent of bands such as Chairlift and Portishead and they were able to catch the attention of most people in the room, which slowly began to fill as her set went on.
Sarah Williams White
Next on the stage was the ex-King Blues frontman, iTCH. When his DJ walked onto the stage wearing an oversized mask of a crying baby and started the music, anyone that had expected his solo material to be similar to his old folk-punk band was quickly set straight.
As dance beats blasted out of the sound system, iTCH exploded onto the stage and started rapping along, instantly getting the crowd moving, playing his new material including the single ‘Homeless Romantic’, blending elements of electro, hip-hop and pop-punk. iTCH’s poetic spoken-word background really shines through in his lyrics and delivery, emphasised by his ever-present punk attitude and ideologies.
During his fourth track, iTCH jumps off the stage and allows the crowd to form a circle around him while he performs, much to the delight of the fans who pull out their cameras and phones to record the event. This really helps to raise the energy in the room, with people throwing their hands in the air and getting amped up for the headline act.
The duo emerged onto a smoky, dimly lit stage, furnished with a small sofa and table for Pip and an elaborate setup of keyboards, laptops, sequencers and controllers for dan le sac. The crowd jumped and shouted along right from the word go with opening track ‘Stunner’ from the recent album, as flashing lights silhouetted the duo against the smoke backdrop. Not even three songs into the set, Pip remarks on how the crowd “already seem more up for it than Bristol were”.
As good as their music may be, many acts suffer from not being very entertaining on stage. Not these guys. Throughout the set, the duo bring both support acts back out to join them: Sarah Williams White to sing Kid A’s part from ‘Cauliflower’ and iTCH for his verse in ‘Stiff Upper Lip’. As well as this, Pip borrows from his spoken-word show (which is very much worth checking out) and uses props to help carry some of the slower and more poetic tracks, sitting down on the sofa for ‘Terminal’, going through a ring of prison keys for ‘Porter’, and reading from a large biblical book for the hit track ‘Thou Shalt Always Kill’, which never fails to get the whole room bouncing.
Each of the duo got a chance to present the crowd with some of their solo material during the show, with Pip performing ‘Introdiction’ from his album Distraction Pieces and Dan, despite being very frustrated at someone who threw a drink on stage and damaged some of his equipment (own up, you owe him £500), treated the crowd to a few minutes of live dance and drum and bass mashups after Pip had left the stage, including a rendition of Prodigy’s ‘Voodoo People’.
dan le sac
Their banter between tracks was as great as ever, although perhaps slightly toned-down due to the presence of Pip’s mum and aunt, who were watching from the front row. Although you might expect a couple of slightly older people to look out of place at a hip-hop show, this isn’t the case with dan le sac vs Scroobius Pip. Just looking around the room, you can see the age range that their fanbase spans. There were easily three generations in attendance, which really goes to show how many people connect with the duo’s music on so many different levels.
dan le sac
As always, dan le sac vs Scroobius Pip were fantastic. Despite being the last show of the first UK leg of the tour, they showed no signs of slowing down, and I’m sure they’ll be equally good when they return in April.
Photos by Dan Hess.