Monday, February 05, 2007
Northcote Social Club
A balmy night brings many folk out to the No So for what promises to be a fantastic lineup of rap and hip-hop-related largeness, dropping a hint at what Melbourne has to offer in this department. The onslaught of quality gigs (check other reviews on this page for evidence) around this time of year may have depleted bank accounts and a willingness to go out, but not tonight, and not for these talents.
While the name Dig Deep Sound Project didn't promise anything revolutionary on paper, on stage, it's a different story. What we get is Lady Lash, an amazingly talented - though somewhat bashful - vocalist, who opened by giving props to the (excellent) production of the music she began to rhyme and sing over. With a voice Idol-competitors would kill for, stellar lyrics (especially for the touching and tough Butterfly Baby Girl) and spot-on mic control - her songs are like sucker punches from lace gloves. When not rapping she tugged at her white t-shirt and stared at the stage, looking nervous and pacing. While she is singing though, Lash is in the moment, working the stage like a veteran and with a voice belying her years, the crowd clearly behind her all the way.
Following this revelation was RuC.L, a bling-toting Jamaican/Australian rapper who set about working the crowd like a pro with help from his DJ. A bit hip-hop, a bit dancehall, a lot of "when I say.../you say..." and a truckload of fun. Clearly unfazed by the quarter-filled room, RuC.L made the No So feel like the Rod Laver with his surestruck poses and "I can't HEAR you!"s. Tracks Fire, Let The World Know and a closing, cheer-spawning remix of Jamrock pushed the dancehall angle of his set, worked his true talents and got arms waving.
Before Macromantics herself arrived, DJ Amy was already cooking up quality beatage. With a vase of flowers fronting each deck, Amy flaunted her vocal and DJ skills throughout the night, never stopping the smoothness or missing a cue. A faultless performance matched by the queen of Australian rap herself. "Mic check 1, 2 let's do this...," and she's away. Energy and fun levels never dissipate, Moments In Movement is a killer, Scorch, and Bandwagon are blinding, and Apple Crumble leaves punters wanting more. The converted all agree: this Minotaur is on fire. Though she never gets the crowd pumping hip-hop stylee (given the absence of melody, rarely repeated lyric and spitfire speed this isn't really possible), this is more than made up for in free-flowing vehement fun. The underwear, masquerade mask, Groundies' singer and rubber bat that appear on stage throughout the evening all perfectly factor in to the unstoppable vibe she pushes and huge amount of energy she creates (Joe from The Groundies especially embodies this in his typically unhinged and physical way). Macro doesn't let the intensity drop for a second - even her acapellas are ferocious. Sometimes the rapid-fire images and wordplay blur, but the bravado sticks ("I leave the crowd with stiff nipples, boners and bruises" - no argument heard there) However it's her unscripted moments give the widest glimpses of this rising star ("There is a God...no I don't lecture...it's all love...how ya doin'?!"). All in all, a hell of a way to kick off a summer tour.