Cold Lampin’ With Flavor Saturday 10 September, 2011

At a rough estimation I have waited around 20 years to see Public Enemy live. As you might imagine the days leading to the gig opened a route straight though to my inner thirteen year old and the excitement flooded in leaving me giddy and light headed.

So light headed that when I got to the forum I spent £40 on T-Shirts.  Like I said, the inner thirteen year old was definitely in charge.

The first thing i noticed when I got to the venue is that this was not a gig for kids. Most of the people there were older than me and at 33 I am not a youngster anymore.  I heard one of the younger patrons telling a friend that they were “really excited to see Public Enemy because my dad used to play them in the car on the way to school”…haha.

I got my space early so that I had a good view.  I listened to the pre-show DJ (good music choice, terrible technique) and bobbed my head like everybody else.  As I head nodded along I wondered if this was a vision of my future.  Me and all of the other geriatrics watching PE, The Wu and Big Daddy Kane at Butlins. Initially I thought that sounded terrifying (inner 13 year old again) then realised that that sounds pretty awesome.

After about an hour of some painful DJing (somebody needs to tell her that part of the reason for the headphones is to check that the levels of the two records are the same) the lights dipped and a couple of guys (who I am ashamed to say I have no idea who they were…although I reckon they were too young to be part of the band) came on and told the now packed forum what the rules of call and response were.

Then it started. What can I say? These guys know how to rock a crowd. Welcome To The Terrordome still sounds amazing. Chuck is commanding and Flavor is a real entertainer.  One of the S1W’s has let himself go a bit which is a little off message for their purpose but I love the fact that Chuck and Flavor are sticking with this guy nonetheless.  I never realised just how integral a part of PE that Flavor is. I always imagine that he was the jester and not much else but this guy is equally as important as Mister Chuck himself.

There was a lot of between song rambling from the guys and some of the folks around me were audibly bored by this by I loved it. These guys had been heroes of mine since I was a child and to hear them speak was a treat. MisterChuck is still as incisive as ever and made his views known on the causes for our recent civil unrest. Flavor is very attention grabbing and the songs still rock hard…or should that be rap hard?

The mostly middle aged crowd jumped around like teenagers and for a short while that evening I got the sense that there was collective wish fulfilment happening in that room and I for one, left a very happy man wearing a Public Enemy T-shirt (with another one in his bag! haha).


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