Stanley Odd at The Ceilidh Place, Ullapool, 10/4/2015. A review.
It was a night of a few firsts at Stanley Odd’s Ullapool stop on their Sweatbox tour: It was the bands first time in the lovely Ullapool and it was, I believe, the first time that InvernessGigs has ever been mentioned during a freestyle rap battle.
The Sweatbox tour was a chance for the band to play several of their favourite, more intimate venues and the Ceilidh Place Clubhouse certainly fit the bill. With a maximum capacity of (I would guess) just under a hundred, it was certainly snug and sweaty in the bunkhouse.
Ullapool was the official last stop on the tour but the band could resist stopping in at Aviemore’s Old Bridge Inn the following day.
Stanley Odd are a 6 piece alternative Hip Hop band whose material often consciously and carefully strays into sometimes complex social and political issues but delivered always with wit and sincerity.
Front man, Solareye -Dave Hook-, raps vernacularly but always eloquently whilst Veronika Elektronica offsets this perfectly with her strong vocals providing counterpoint melody.
The last tour that Stanley Odd took to the Highlands gave the band a chance to promote their album A Thing Brand New and so most of the tracks we heard came from the 2014 album however this set was much more diverse, spanning much more of the band’s material, such as 2010’s Think of a Number, the single Get Out My Headspace and everyone’s favourite ‘Acrostic Alliterative Poem’ THIS IS STANLEY ODD as well as the fantastic new material.
Halfway through the set Solareye invited Spring Break frontman Swagatha Christie (also known as DJ Butterscotch or Badger Sized Rat or, occasionally, Ross Carbarns) to the stage and Ross and Dave treated us to some impressive freestyle rap in which our photographer Roddy got his own special mention, as well as Swagatha Christie rapping ‘I’ll be seeing this in Inverness Gigs next week’. We were feeling very proud. There was laughter as Dave threw ‘Me and hip hop go together like Stornoway and Black Pudding’ into the mix.
The band saved their successful pro-independence single ‘Son I Voted Yes’ for last and it inevitably was met by huge enthusiasm by the very ‘Yes’ clad crowd. The Odd Squad were rewarded with huge applause as they left their Sweatbox Stage for the (official) last time.