Bumper, Hardman Street
21st May 2010
In keeping with the warm weather outside the venue this evening, Stanley
Odd are a group who would be best appreciated at an outdoor festival.
In places evoking the spirit, if not the sound of main stage favourites
Faithless, the group who hail variously from Scotland, Norway and Germany
play live hip-hop mixed with funk, electronica and a good deal of social
Boasting a clear Soul II Soul influence, at points the group also sound
like retro-fixated New York hipsters Dee-Lite and urban pop group Stereo
MCs. Fitting in with the old school hip-hop format of having long tracks
crammed full of verses, the band differ from the template laid down by
The Sugar Hill Gang and De La Soul by having live instrumentation. Supplemented
by guitar, drums, keyboards, bass and samples provided by a laptop, vocalists
Soniceye and Veronika stalk around Bumper’s compact stage, dividing
their vocals roughly between the former on verses and the latter on choruses.
The old hip-hop ethos of drawing from a myriad of sources to create a
new sound is in evidence as the sextet move from hands-aloft anthemic
dance to funk basslines, to pop choruses in the space of one track. A
particular highlight, second track ‘Sundance’ concerns a ne'er-do-well
the lead singer fancied in school, who later became a call girl. Being
propositioned and not realising at the time, the truth only dawned on
him later. Pointed without being in-yer-face, think more Grand Master
Flash than Public Enemy, the best example of the groups’ oeuvre
is recent single ‘Think of a Number’.
Drawing to a close after the regulation six-song set performers are allocated,
the group prove the breadth of the acts booked to play Sound City this
year, as live hip-hop in the city is still quite a rarity.