Nevermind that it was a quiet Tuesday night in the city, there was a real party atmosphere to the proceedings last night by the time The Cool Kids took to the stage in Crawdaddy. The duo who call themselves “The new black version of the Beastie Boys” and take their cue from the old school of hip-hop thought, benefited from an hour delay in proceedings. A gig that had a curfew of 10:45 found itself starting at 10:44 with a inebriated crowd ready for what they had to throw at them.
But first, the small matter of the support acts: one which impressed, the other….. well………..I’ll tell you later. The first act were Irish hip-hop band The Infomatics, with a thoroughly impressive set-up of two MCs, drummer, bass player and electronics. They played a handful of well-executed tunes drawing samples from Soul and Jazz. It’ll be interesting to see if the forthcoming album Kill or Create delivers us another Irish hip-hop act to be proud of. The elements are there sons.
When I return from a pee-break, I am confronted with a sight that sets my previously unknown hipster alarm bell ringing. An Indian guy is playing bass in tight, tight red drainpipe jeans, rocking a stance not seen since the mid-80s. I was genuinely worried for the health of his genitalia. Legs wide apart, leaning from side to side like he’s trying to coax his bass into bed for the night. He was accompanied by a drummer with a soulful voice. We were informed they were called The Carps and at first I thought they were a comedic duo. They were not. It was like a cross between Death from Above 1979 with N.E.R.D but it was actually just annoying. They did produce the funniest moment of the night though. The drummer, Neil, is telling the crowd they “won’t be disappointed” if they participate in the next build-up. Milli-seconds before something interesting was due to happen, the bassist, Jahmal, loses his footing and falls flat off the stage. The Cool Kids, who are watching from upstairs heckle their tour-mates.
When it’s their turn to rock, Chicago MCs Mikey and Chuck come out after a very brief DJ Intro and pound into accelerated rhyming, dragging the crowd up off the heels into a frenzy. The set was filled with 80’s rap references and their own instrumentals sound like an SP-1200’s bank of hi-hats, cymbals and scattered samples from back in the day. They play the songs they are known for “I’m Mikey”, “88” (“Do the Smurf / Do the Wop / Baseball Bat / Rooftop like we bringing -88 back /” also from Nas’ “Made you Look”), “Black Mags” and a couple of Beastie Boys backing tracks put smiles on faces (“Paul Revere” and “So Whatcha Want”).
The highlights all include allusions to being an 80’s kid – the M.A.R.S inspired “Pump up the Volume”, NWA-sampling “Gold and a Pager” with the apex of the night being a crowd-assisted run-through of the theme tune from The Fresh Prince of Bel Air (watch below).
A superb night’s hip-hop then, made all the better by the substantial skills The Cool Kids displayed in rocking a crowd and having the tunes to back them up. They’ll be considered even cooler when the debut album drops later this year.
Courtesy of Dolan.