Stanley Odd - The Garage
Live Review

Stanley Odd – The Garage, Glasgow

Alternative hip hop band Stanley Odd ended a short tour to promote their latest album A Thing Brand New with a fine show in Glasgow. Heading a line up of three acts, a celebration of Scotland’s very distinctive form of hip hop, this was a lively and entertaining evening. Although the show was moved from the main stage at the venue, the crowd was still large and raucous, and there was a party atmosphere throughout.

Ciaran Mac opened the night, and did a fine job of energising the crowd. His fast paced rap over a DJ’s backing tracks was energetic and covered a wide range of subjects from politics to growing up, and all in a stylish manner. He has a good stage presence and interacted well with the audience, who responded in kind.

Loki (aka Darren McGarvey) was next up, and if anything his machine gun delivery was even faster. Baked by Becci Wallace on guitar and some lovely folky vocals that contrasted nicely, Loki’s intelligent and thoughtful lyrics were clear and insightful and he displayed some humorous touches too. Another lively performance was well received by a now large crowd.

MC Solareye (aka Dave Hook) led Stanley Odd onto a darkened stage and launched into opening track Get Back In The Basement while the rest of the band got into position, joining in one by one. It was a fast start, the political lyrics spat out by Solareye as he used all of the small stage, running and leaping without missing a word.

An older track, Chase Yirsel, followed and audience participation was brought in early, the crowd yelling their responses with enthusiasm and volume. While much of the set was taken from the new album, the band also played old some favorites like Get Out Ma Headspace and This Is Stanley Odd, and it was notable that many sang along with every word.

Recent single Pastimes was a real highlight, introduced as a “stereotypical blues hip hop campfire singalong song.” The track mixed typically fast rap with some lovely bluesy guitar licks and the lush soulful voice of Veronika Electronika (aka Paula McGoldrick) to great effect. Slower track Put Your Roots Down, a very personal song written by Hook about impending fatherhood, was also excellent, as was the faster paced Her Name Is Hip Hop.

All too soon the closing pairing of the politically charged rap The Waking Dead and anti war song Knock Knock ended the set, and the band left the stage – but only briefly. The clamour for an encore was loud and immediate and the crowd were rewarded with two more songs. The post referendum Son I Voted Yes was warmly received, as was fan favourite Think Of A Number. Unfortunately an early curfew meant that the house lights then had to come up, marking the end of an excellent set.

Stanley Odd offer much more than hip hop. The strong instrumental backing gives a funky rock sound to back MC Solareye’s raps and Veronka Electronika adds soul to the equation. With lyrics mixing politics and wry observations on life, this very Scottish sound is bold and entertaining, expertly delivered by a fine collection of musicians. Stanley Odd are always a live band worth watching, and this was another high quality performance.

Venue: The Garage, Glasgow
Support Band: Ciaran Mac, Loki

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