Edinburgh Liquid Rooms, November 21
‘When I was ‘Stanley’ you say ‘Odd! STANLEY!’ ‘ODD!’
Edinburgh Hip-Hop collective Stanley Odd have just released their third album, A Thing Brand New, and even as a long-time champion, it’s clear that this is their best album yet. Their profile is continuing to rise and deservedly so. Not only because they’re working so goddamn hard at it, but also because they deserve to.
Frontman Solareye (Dave Hook to his family and friends) bounds on stage alone, freestyling (as he does throughout much of the gig) and joined shortly afterwards by the other five members. Tearing into A Thing Brand New‘s opening track ‘Get Back In The Basement’ they have honed their show to the point where they seem both polished and yet it comes over as organic. Modestly alerting us that this is only the second time they have played some of these songs live, it matters not one jot. They’re on home-turf and the crowd are here for them.
But if you see this as just preaching to the converted, this audience has been worked on over time. There’s still people who can’t get their head round the idea of people rapping in any accent that’s not American. More fool them. The album contains excellent tracks like ‘To Be This Good Takes Stages’ which could be seen as an accurate summation of where they are, along with songs like album highlight ‘Her Name Was Hip-Hop’ and ‘Draw Yir Own Conclusions.’
Earlier material like 2012’s ‘Get Out Ma Head space’ from 2012’s sophomore album Reject, gets an airing too, but one of the biggest cheers of the night is for album closer ‘Son I Voted Yes’ which deals with the recent Scottish independence referendum. It’s genuinely emotional listening to it live. Yet they absolutely tear up the place on early single ‘Think Of A Number’ for their closing moment.
And if you google Stanley – interestingly, Stanley Odd comes up before Kubrick. Just saying, likes…