There could well be no better setting in Dublin for a show like this than a jammed Whelan’s. Scroobius Pip proves his worth tonight as an endlessly entertaining MC, in total control of both his fevrent lyrics and the adoring crowd with the high-tempo beats, synths and samples of the man with the machines, Dan Le Sac, providing the perfect backing to his partner’s socially conscious ryhmes. Hopping assuredly between the different influences that make up their sound, the duo mix hip-hop beats and lyrics with unashamed all-out-dancable electro and prop it all up on a punk rock ethic that lends their music an earnestness and a passion that is so often missing from these types of music.
The two Englishmen pull plenty from their new record The Logic of Chance, as well as enough old favourites from their debut Angles to keep any fan happy. While their most famous tune, -Thou Shalt Not Kill’ goes down a treat, it is a mark of the strength of their debut that songs like ‘The Beat My Heart Skipped’ and ‘Magician’s Assistant’ elicit a far more energetic response from the crowd. The three minute multi-plot novella that is ‘Angles’ itself is livened by Pip’s costume changes mid song, with glasses, ties and police hats all coming into play during its short story.
While it would be easy to rest on the established favourites from their first album, these gentlemen have a brand new collections of songs that seem to have benefited from the hundreds of shows they’ve done over the last couple of years. The songs from The Logic of Chance are louder, brasher and infintely more assured in the live arena with the giant chants of ‘Get Better’ and ‘Stake A Claim’ tailor made for audience participation.
The highlight of the night however came from their debut in the form of the treatise on the state of hip-hop that is ‘Fixed’. Its epic refrain of ‘Hip-hop is art, don’t make another pop hit, be smart’ brings the audience off their feet, arms in the air, words chanted loud and proud. Leaving us with the unfortunate encore of the clumsy moral sledgehammer that is -Letter from God’ threatened to end the night on a sour, lazily-sampled note but the unsung (or should that be unsinging?) hero of the night Dan Le Sac extends its outro into five minutes of banging electro that has the entire crowd dancing long after his more vocal compatriot has left the stage. They may be the oddest couple in pop but Dan Le Sac and Scroobius Pip are, on this form, pretty much untouchable.