100 Club London
10th Nov 2014
We’ve been fans of LA noise-rap artists Clipping. since way before their Sub Pop days, so when we learnt they had a rare UK date lined up last Monday we had to get a man down. That man was Keith Goldhanger – check out how the night went down below.
It’s a quiet Monday evening on the streets of wet and windy Central London. The white glittery balls that hang from wires representing the 2014 Christmas decorations sway and wait for the millions of spectators.
A few feet below the pavement in what appears to be the only room worth visiting in central London nowadays (its all being dug up and turned into a big train station) plays host to Sub Pop’s, West coast American hip hop trio, Clipping.
Take away the voice of Daveed Diggs and we’re left with a mighty racket of droning synths, booming bass drums you feel before you hear and squeals of shrieking feedback that’ll make you wince. However once the voice begins to rattle away at a million words a minute we stand here, mesmerised, whilst concentrating heavily on the bits we can pick out and paste together in our heads to make some sense (and there is a lot of sense coming out of this man’s face) before new lines of prose hit us. At times we simply give up trying to catch the words and thrust our arms around to the tunes we’re picking out but overall, after experiencing the fastest hour of our lives we end the evening exhausted and delighted in the decision to be here this evening.
About ten minutes or so in to the set we’re left with just the audible sound of the instruments. Clipping are temporarily voiceless and the swaying arm waving few at the front continue to dance even though there seems for a minute or two simply not really much to dance to. Anyone entering the venue late would find this puzzling but those of us here from the start are transfixed and waiting for the voice to return and continue its journey to the end.
When Diggs utters something about the bombs coming you can see the front two rows duck in anticipation and as he stands amongst the crowd during the penultimate tune of the evening at least a third of the public are standing on stage to get a view of this man down below still throwing out abrasive sharp lyrics that each of us are attempting to digest for future reference. (such a shame that everyone then seemed to want to get their phones out at this stage of the gig.)
This is extreme, noisy, intense and thrilling. It may not be a sold out gig but there’s a Monday evening mosh pit of slamming enthusiastic punters who know this stuff well and have dedicated the evening to loosing themselves in the tunes they love, whilst upstairs on the street the temperature has decreased, the tacky tourist shops that used to sell “I Love London” merchandise have been bulldozed down and thoughts are deeply embedded in the heads of those of us travelling home still trying to remember as much as Clipping managed to cram into the show.
Fantastic furious noisy hip-hop that we hope will return to the capital sooner rather than later.
All words by Keith Goldhanger. More from Keith can be found at his Author Archive.