Wu Tang Clan at Bestival 2013

September 7, 2013

Bestival 2013 review Wu Tang Clan


Photo by Victor Frankowski

“How many of you have been with the Wu Tang clan since square one?” A brief glance over your shoulder answers RZA’s question more honestly than the communal roar of smoothie-swigging middle-class folks; it’s Friday afternoon and we’re in pastoral Britain watching the Wu-tang Clan.

A swarm put their “motherfucking fists like this” and RZA reciprocates, clutching a bottle of wine in his hand firmly. Wu-tang begin resolutely, filling the stage with a nonchalance and aggression that screams “success” at their 20th anniversary tour. The clan are somewhat halted by the absence of some core key members, who were unfortunately unable to make the show. After a slow beginning, the slew of cheers that greet ‘Triumph’ and ‘Protect Ya Neck’ are sincere and needed, as the crowd walks the tightrope between nonplussed and enthralled.

“We used to do graffiti, we used to breakdance, but the DJ was always the master. We wanna show you real hip-hop!” Over at the decks we’re given the most entrancing moment of the afternoon, and we see decks scratched over shoulders, with feet, and with a solitary face. ‘Shame On A Nigga’ is superb.

There’s an obsession and dignified cynicism attached to reunions, which, when considering the Queen/Paul Rodgers shaped disasters that we’re used to embracing, is required. With Wu Tang, my concern is that they may be bastardising their own culture, not music; Bestival’s open ground seems rather vacuous when you consider the club-sized venues which would help them to thrive.

Can the clan reunite and it be cut from the same sincere cloth responsible for their prevalence in 1994? Probably not, but as they swing into the infectious ‘Gravel Pit’, embracing the crowd with high-fives, your heart can’t help but re-warm to their dignified anarchy.

Bestival 2013 review Wu Tang Clan

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