Wu Legends, ABC, Glasgow
Friday 13 July 2012
The Wu-Tang Clan should establish a group motto: perhaps something like "it’s no show without a no-show." Those who turn out for the highly-regarded Staten Island hip-hop outfit have grown used to the fact that the full advertised line-up won’t be what they actually get, but so extensive are the Clan’s solo careers that they’ll inevitably be consoled by the presence of at least two or three of the genre’s most established names.
For this first night of a three-date UK tour it was Method Man and Masta Killa’s turn to stay at home, with GZA, Raekwon and Ghostface Killah on the rota for a bit of graft.
Under such circumstances the rebranding as Wu Legends was mysterious, implying as it did that we’d be getting a set which was in any way out of the ordinary. Yet this was the standard Wu-Tang travelling show, a slim coterie of one DJ laying on the beats and the pre-show hype action, and three MCs pounding the stage spitting rhymes at us. The format, the heavily pre-recorded backing and the running time of a little over an hour meant it often felt like little more than a PA, albeit one with a slew of rap classics performed by at least some of their originators attached.
In the event the crowd made all the difference, responding to Ghostface Killah’s mock anger at the apparently low volume they were shouting with to such an extent that the roared chant of “Wu! Tang!” a few songs later was admiringly described as “the Gladiator shit”. They were helped along their way by an extended medley which included such brute rhymes as "Protect Ya Neck", "Shimmy Shimmy Ya" and "Ain't Nothin' Ta Fuck Wit", causing a Crewmember to exclaim with unanticipated wistfulness: “I can feel the love within your energy” and demand the crowd “Christmas tree it” with lighters and phones in the air for the old-school slow jam "Can It All Be So Simple?"
It was by no means a vintage show, but there was a certain rowdy communion between the group and their crowd when, for example, the familiar grind of "Gravel Pit" landed or the closing of "Triumph" dropped with a rib-hitting bassline, giving the resonance of communal excitement to the group’s claim that “you're the same mother****ers as us and we’re the same mother****ers as you - straight bangers.”
And then, perhaps more tellingly than any finely-meant words that passed between heroes and fans, it was time to ask everyone to buy a T-shirt.
Watch the new House of Cards series three trailerTV
Oscars 2015It was the first time Barney has compered the Academy Awards
Oscars 2015 From Meryl Streep whooping Patricia Arquette's equality speech to Chris Pine in tears
Oscars 2015 Mexican filmmaker uses speech to urge 'respect' for immigrants
TV ReviewThe intrigue deepens as we delve further but don't expect any answers just yet
Razzies 2015 Golden Raspberry Awards 'honours' Cameron Diaz and Kirk Cameron
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 2 Ed Miliband less influential than One Direction's Louis Tomlinson in official Doncaster power list
- 3 Japanese island overrun with cats after population explodes
- 4 Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
- 5 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
Kurt Cobain's life and death: Montage of Heck film uses unseen footage to tell Nirvana frontman's story
Game of Thrones season 5 spoilers: What we can expect according to George RR Martin's books
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
Drugs Live: Twitter responds to Jon Snow and Jennie Bond smoking cannabis
Jimmy McGovern's new TV series 'Banished': Why Australia's past has such resonance today
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'