Room 2, Glasgow
Room 2, Glasgow, a proper gigging venue. Three quid lagers? Fuckin’ brilliant! This is a place to both enjoy yourself, & be musically educated at the same time, capturing the quintessence of what a live venue should be all about. David Blair’s the main man, running a tight ship as always, & showcasing some of the Central Belt’s finest talent. Last night was all about Hip-Hop; two acts, one fresh-fac’d, one establish’d. First up was Psweatpants – London born, but up in Glasgow now, doing his thing & clearly enjoying himself.
Nominated for this year’s best hip hop act by SAMA, his music has a massively serious bent, which is a complete contrast to the happy patter in between his songs, when he radiates an ebullient ‘joy to be here’ rarely seen on a hip-hop stage. A proper fun ride, at times it felt like I was in my 20s again, Road Raging down the Lea Bridge Road into Hackney for a night out at some squat rave in some industrial unit somewhere, so was the proper evocative atmosphere that Psweatpants had effortlessly produced.
It had been a fairly short set, & with the second act, SHEARS, pulling out thro’ Covid, the night’s main eventers, Stanley Odd, got a chance to do well over an hour of their harmonious fusion of ninja lyrics & bouncing beats. “Scottish as fuck!” beam’d one of their newest fans – they’ve been going since 2009 -, Keiran from Galashiels. He’d seen the Stanley supporting his mate’s band down Gala & was blown away. Saw them again a couple of weeks ago, was blown even more away, & so got a hotel in Glasgow last night for the sole reason of seeing them in action.
Scottish hip-hop is pretty niche, like. Over in America, its practically woven into the national DNA, but the UK has always loved its guitar bands more, pushing hip-hop to the fringes. But, as I watch’d Stanley Odd – who were using geetahs, drums, bass & keyboards actually, but were singing hip-hop, – I was genuinely saying to myself these should be in the mainstream, somewhere. Alas, no, but they do create an extremely talented sound worthy of success. They are also loyal to their musical bones, & just do their easy vibes velocity thing so well, & they love it too, so in the end all is good!
He’s like my best mate who just learnt how to rap & is on a stage – its like I grew up with him: Kieran Robson – latest Stanley Odd superfan
There was a healthy, mixed, aficionado crowd for both acts, & I got the feeling that there were many true fans in the crowd. especially when I actually dared to have a small conversation with Keiran about the intricacies of the keyboard sound & this nobhead in front of me turns around with a face as if a bulldog chewing a wasp had been stuck up its own arse & piped, ‘can you be quiet & listen to the band, show some fuckin’ respect.’ Proper funny & proper partisan.
There were moments of blinding brilliance, proper catchy choruses & elegant songcraftery. I especially loved the tune which went, ‘well that’s my life innit,’ & the one about a witch in the kitchen – see video -, real slick stuff, boys. The aforemention’d covid-hit SHEARS, is normally a co-vocalist with the band, but the singer, Solareye, carried the torch himself, & as a newcomer to the group I knew no different. I did leave thinking if they were that good without her, what would they be like with her? I guess I’m gonna have to join Keiran’s fledgling roving fan club & find the fuck out.
Words: Damian Beeson Bullen
Photography: Raymond Mundito O’neill