The lone sitar and precussive onslaught of ‘Jungle Riot’ opens up Dutch / South African band Skip & Die’s rare UK appearance at Cargo with suprising aplomb. The mishmash of tribal drums, politically charged song titles and wailing (which appears to come as standard) not to mention the technicolor charity-shop garb sported by the band, has solidified all of the MIA comparisons that have been made by the press to date.
I await to be wowed.
The second track belted out – ‘Cumbia’ showcases the both the technical excellence of the band as well as a healthy appetite for the Del Tones and The Specials. Perhaps these guys can live up to the hype?Track three ‘Killing Aid’ begins where Starsky and Hutch left off – with its thundering 70’s cop show intro, you begin to wonder how many styles Skip and Die have actually left out of their endless melting pot of sounds.
Sadly by the time the oh-so-hipster-titled track ‘Love Jihad’ was introduced the lead vocalist – Cata Pirata – was starting to grate a little.
The incessant whooping, hollering and oh-so-try-hard-at losing yourself in the music act put on by Pirata was beginning to wear a little thin. Which was a shame – as the bass drop on ‘Love Jihad’ really was titanic enough to get the most purist of bass music fans twitching with pleasure. With much fist pumping and arm swinging (from our favourite lead singer) ‘Macacos Sijos’ comfortably drew to a powerhouse finish and proved that Skip and Die can actually deliver, even with their try-hard hipster sheen.
‘Get Your Braii on’, ‘Zum Zumba’ and ‘Muti Murder’ showcase the south Afircan roots and provide us with some catchy chorus lines and brilliant beats – so much so I can almost forgive the aforementioned over-zealous art-douchery of before. All in all – by the time the band had set the crowd up for the feedback-din and overly sweary finish of ‘Senorita’ – I was asking myself more questions about what they set out to achieve with their music rather than how good they were live. How much is profile and pose? Ultimately for a band that is supposed to tie in a healthy dose of politics and a vast array of controversial lyrical content something was missing.
Memorable – indeed. Visceral they were not.