There you go, there’s the tickets owned by myself and Linden Plumley for our trip up to the Brixton Academy in London last Wednesday (4th August) to see the Mighty, the Massive, the Masters, The Wu Tang Clan.
I’ve been a fan of the Wu since I was a young lad, early teens when they first erupted from New Yorks’ Statton Island and covered the world with their killa bees. Enter the 36 Chambers is one of those albums that is truly timeless – raw, gritty, uncompromising and you can tell that they just didn’t give a fuck about anyone or anything.
Heck, maybe that’s why us teenagers loved ’em back then. I followed them for years and bought all their albums and avidly watched channels like MTV (later the Base channel before it became pop-tastic) and gobbled up any and all videos I could get.
So, and this actually warrants a ‘funnily enough’ tag, but about two weeks ago I was sat at my computer having hammered some new Wu tang thru my speakers when I wondered if there was any chance that they’d ever tour again. Google be thy friend, and what do you know – they were on the last leg of their European Tour!! And their FINAL date was in London in 7 days time! Fate?
It took me all of 5 mins to buy two tickets, and the look of contentment on my face as I sat back in my easy chair grinning at the ticket receipt on my computer screen slowly started to fade as I realised that I hadn’t actually asked anyone to go with me!
First port of call was a guy called Kev, who I knew was as big a fan as I was, but at such short notice he couldn’t get it off of work as another of our friends had just decided to go on holiday at late notice – thanks Jozwell!! Hope you got the shits!
So, armed with two tickets, no partner and the magic of social networking I hit Facebook and whored myself and my Magic Ticket out. Literally first up was Linden. The rest is history.
We drove up to Brixton in my Jag in the pouring rain and in vain search of a Burger King which I desperately needed. Every islander knows that it’s Written In Stone that you hit BK when on the mainland.
Burgerly-disappointed we got to Brixton and managed to park right next to the Academy. Two white kids in a jag in Brixton. Safe as houses.
After some chips and foul (not sic) chicken in the Nando’s opposite we strolled on over and queued. A few hip-hop-hopefuls patrolled the throng selling their own cds and I picked one up from a guy who had toured with the Wu on their last British Tour. Can’t remember his name but he’s featured on Radio One Xtra, Kiss, etc. Still haven’t listened to the cd yet though!!
[Note: The guy is called Achilles Charrington and his cd is really, really good!]
Once inside and the Brixton Academy is obviously decades, if not, hundreds of years old. Two staircases sweep up the sides as the foyer filters the majority thru the middle and into the chamber itself (nice Wu reference there, Jode). The main room is like a bowl with a steeped curve that allows those at the back a view of the stage.
When we entered there were a couple of young lads playing a dj set (Juicy, I think they were called) and these guys were followed by The Hypnotic Brass Ensemble – a group of 8 brothers (same father anyway) who all played brass instruments in Hip Hop flavours! Very impressive…
Next up was MistaJam from Radio One Xtra who tore things up with a live mix set of 90s New York Hip Hop which he smashed. His energy and vibe and ability to work the crowd and know what they liked was spot on, although by the end you could tell he was being told to keep going while the Wu readied themselves. The shouts of “Wu Wu Wu Wu” were growing stronger and stronger…
Then they hit the stage. I haven’t got many photos as the crowd surged forward and I couldn’t hold my camera up high enough to get any good ones, but luckily Linden’s clearing 6 foot, so, flicking the camera to video mode he got some good footage of the Wu live and in full effect. Add me on facebook and see the videos on there.
Alas, ODB had passed away the year previously (although this allowed RZA to rap ‘Shimmy Shimmy Ya’ – something to tell my kids about) and Method Man was either a/ filming a new film, or b/ with his wife because she has cancer. Seeing as RZA said he was filming and some guy in the queue mentioned cancer I know which one I’m holding onto.
So, a twenty year love affair with a gang of black men from NY culminated in an explosion of sound and jumping sweaty, bodies in Brixton academy. It was worth the wait. I can’t think of anything better.
Oh, except maybe watching the Wu Tang sing The Beatles ‘Come Together’.