We were treated to a Hip Hop extravaganza on Friday night with Stanley Odd returning to Inverness to play The Ironworks Venue along with support from Spring Break.
Spring Break are a 3 piece ensemble including rapper Ross Carbarns (Also known as DJ Butterscotch and occasionally as Swagatha Christie), Emily Mackinnon on vocals, providing a counterpoint melody and guitarist Ben Hesling. They had an enjoyable stage presence from the get go and Ross and Ben sported two of the most outrageously colourful suits I have ever seen.
As a rapper, Butterscotch comes across as confident and whimsical. With songs such as ‘Dolphin Puncher’ drawing laughter from the audience. Dolphin Puncher is a song about a man who get so angry, that he could conceivably punch a dolphin in a rage and is possibly the first song to have a dolphin call solo laid down in the track.I’m not sure if the phrase ‘I’m so angry I could punch a dolphin’ will catch on any time soon but it was a hit with the crowd.
The set also included a cover of Pumped up Kicks by Foster the People which had an original Spring Break spin on things. Although less politically astute over all than Stanley Odd, song ‘Tractor Tractor’ including a catchy mechanised vehicle themed Chorus is an interesting view of Land Reformation Laws in the United Kingdom. Tractor Tractor!
For those of you who have not yet had the pleasure of being introduced to Stanley Odd, they are a Scottish 6 piece alternative Hip Hop band. A bit of a mouthful to say, but not half as difficult as some of the incredibly intricate rhymes and stories that are rapped by Solareye. Stanley Odd jumped straight into their set with Get Back in the Basement – the first song from their new album A Thing Brand New.
The set was mainly made up from the new tracks, giving the band a chance to showcase their new material. A Thing Brand New was released earlier in 2014 and has been received very well. There is a real weight to this album that came across in Friday nights performance with huge focus on the social and political issues faced by Scotland past, future and present with references to all sorts of relevant public figures scattered throughout the tracks. I really couldn’t fault the Odd Squad’s performance.
Every song was delivered with sincerity and enthusiasm. The crowd got involved at several points promted by Solareye shouting ‘We say Stanley, You say’ with the response of ‘ODD’ and ‘We say bed tax, you say’ ‘F*@k that!’ The rapping of Solareye and the vocal melodies of Veronica Electronica fit so well together on the album that I had wondered if the same seamlessness would be possible during a live and fast paced performance such as Friday’s and they do pull it off incredibly well.
Veronica’s voice is strong and steady, complimenting the unpredictable and rapid pace of the rap delivered always in a thick vernacular. A personal highlight was the freestyle rap from Solareye, created off the top of his head, it really was something. A favourite line being ‘In school I was a rap nerd, as lonely as the penguin in the John Lewis advert’ Great stuff.
After a fantastic 13 song set the band were cheered back on stage for a two song encore. They had saved Pro Independence favourite ‘Son I Voted Yes’ for this and it undoubtedly drew the biggest and most positive reaction that evening with a few ‘Yes’ signs appearing in the Ironworks crowd.
Stanley have never shied away when it comes to sharing their political opinions and I would say that as a band it has done more good than harm and their involvement in events such as A Night for Independence has grown their fan base. Stanley Odd went out with a bang with Think of a Number before heading to the merch stand to meet with fans. A great show, lets hope they Stay Odd.
You can read our pre-show interview with the Dave Hook of the band here.