The Pharcyde brought their Bizarre Ride to Liverpool, Getintothis’ Laurie Cheeseman caught the flow at East Village.
With Liverpool being bathed in a liberal dose of California’s perpetual sunshine tonight, the Pharcyde’s timing is perfect.
Stateside rappers from the east coast to the west are cribbing their distinctive sound. And, it turns out, so are Liverpool’s freshest talent.
It’s a shame that only a smattering of people populate EVAC for the 90s-style boom-bap which is in plentiful supply courtesy of opening DJs No Fakin’ & Madnice.
DJ 2Kind caught more than just the camera’s eye at East Village Arts Club
Their classic turntablism makes such a refreshing change to the deep house laptop DJs who populate most club nights in Liverpool these days.
Despite the fact most of the tracks dropped 20 years ago, the added 12″ warmth makes the tracks sound as vital as they always did.
It’s great to see Liverpool’s rap scene flourish of late; particularly the aptly named Nicky Talent and his partner in crime 2K.
Like their hyped Brooklyn counterparts in the Beast Coast movement they use 90s beats but with a refreshingly British reggae-informed twist to their rapping.
Their playful, lively set gave nods to their influences referencing everyone from the legendary Nas to roots-reggae.
Jamie Broad reached for the summit at East Village Arts Club
The backpack wearing Jamie Broad, a chap who “talks really fast and raps”, is actually a dude with a really clever, intricate flow. And Erik B & Rakim samples. Can’t go wrong there can you?
Again, with the Arts Club now bursting with bodies, he puts his own twist on things; it’s not often you hear someone rap in a scouse accent (and have genuinely good rhythm).
It’s even rarer to see someone recover from technical glitches so smoothly and keep his momentum with a flawless freestyle.
The Pharcyde hit their stride with expert application at East Village Arts Club
Despite their relatively advanced years (by hip hop standards anyway, which seems to work in cat years), The Pharcyde’s protracted entrance manages to ratchet up the energy on both the stage and the dance-floor to another level.
From 4 Better or 4 Worse to Return of the B-Boy, and beyond into the timeless classics from the J Dilla produced Labcabincalifornia (especially Runnin’ and Drop), their flow is watertight and the beat goes on’n’on doing genuine justice to such an influential album.
But then, it was always going to be hard to screw up playing Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde, especially an album made for warm summer evenings like this.
Instead of playing the album note for note (as so many artists do on these album/anniversary tours) each song is just different enough to give it that extra edge, as did all the nerdy music geeks on the floor giving it beans.
Sadly, some added low-end smothered some of the more subtle samples. In this instance it’s forgiveable because it got everybody in the room boogyin’ away (or in hysterics in the case of Ya Mama) all night long.
Despite the unfortunate lack of an encore, Fatlip’s DJ set after kept the dancing going on all night long – the perfect end to a perfect evening for the scouse hip hop heads.
Pictures by Getintothis’ Chris Everett.
Further reading on Getintothis:
The Pharcyde: Bizarre rides, the making of a classic and J Dilla’s legacy
Top 10: West Coast hip hop albums
Tony Broke, Lee Scott & Bill Shakes, Ape Cult, Bang On, Innuendo, 4saken, Loki: The Zanzibar, Liverpool