The tiny shed behind the rock bar in the center of Huddersfield was treated to the interesting blend of acoustic, ska, disco and hip-hop all under the same roof in the space of one evening along with support from West Yorkshire’s own Ex-Random Hand guitarist Matt Crosher and Californian post-punk laptop rapper MC Lars.
Crosher opened the show playing acoustic ska solo whilst wearing a beanie hat and large sunglasses, which combined with his beard and music. It’s almost as if Bono lived in a log cabin for 5 years before taking a long holiday to Jamaica. But none the less, Crosher’s very down to earth disposition and humorous self-depreciating remarks between songs made a solid opening to the show. With the venue packed nicely and everyone attentively listening to the cover-heavy set which included Sublime, Wyclef Jean and Skindred. Though, unfortunately, there are only a finite number of sounds available when playing acoustic ska/reggae.
MC Lars then took to the stage to play a set filled with the classic songs he is best known for, from “Download This Song” to “Mr. Raven,” which, of course, featured his raven puppet wearing a Baltimore Ravens NFL jersey. Lars also premièred a song from his new upcoming album entitled Dragon Blood which is about Daenerys Targaryen from Game of Thrones being a positive female role model. Lars closed his set with the title track from his 2009 release This Gigantic Robot Kills with Suburban Legends backing him.
In that lies the secret about touring with rappers as there was literally no turnaround time between Lars’ set and Suburban Legends taking the stage for their set. With the band suited and booted, they opened their set with High Fives which immediately got things moving and the energy went through the roof. Part of what makes a Suburban Legends set such a spectacle is the careful choreography which even works on the smallest of stages. Much like Crosher, the Legend’s set was heavily comprised of covers including Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline,” Randy Newman’s “You’ve Got A Friend In Me,” and “I just Can’t Wait To Be King” & “Under The Sea” from The Lion King and The Little Mermaid, respectively. With songs like “Hey DJ” and “Come Back Home,” they are possibly one of- if not the only- band to play the Parish where the tiny disco ball above the stage is actually quite fitting.
With a fitting running order for the artists, and with upbeat songs in such a intimate space, it was no question that this show was going to be a great night, but Crosher, Lars and the Legends’ solid performances and kept the crowd involved and entertained. They really went above and beyond.
Rating: 7 Slices out of 8