SO SOLID SET TO HAVE A BALL

They may be banned virtually everywhere in the UK, but the collective are welcomed with open arms on the Emerald Isle...

So Solid Crew ARE to play live after all, NME.COM can reveal – in BELFAST and DUBLIN next month.

Despite promoters and police forces throughout the rest of the UK refusing point blank to host any So Solid Crew live shows, venues and the police in Ireland are welcoming the collective with open arms.

The band will perform at the May Ball at Queens’ University of Belfast on May 9 and a day later in Dublin’s Trinity University. Though essentially student events, guests of students can also get in.

Queens’ Ents officer Rod Martin told NME.COM he had no qualms about booking So Solid Crew.

“What happened in London is totally different to here,” he said. “There is a different culture. The act became available a few weeks ago. They’re hugely popular; they’ve sold 500,000 records; they’ve won awards – we would have been foolish not to look at them. We have no problem whatsoever.”

While Martin said the entire 30-something collective would not be appearing, due to the prohibitive cost of flights, “one or two DJs will warm up before there’ll be an hour with the MCs. It’s very much a So Solid Crewshow”. The line-up is still being finalised.

He added there would be additional security at the Union for the 2,500 capacity event, though no more than usual for an event of that scale.

A spokesperson for the Police Service Of Northern Ireland (formerly the RUC) also said they had no worries about allowing a So Solid Crew show.

“There are a lot more serious things going on in Northern Ireland than a rap band playing,” he said. “Something like that really isn’t anything we are worried about. We would only look into it if we were approached to do so.”

Declan Ford of Mean Fiddler in Ireland, responsible for booking acts for the Trinity Ball, said: “From where we’re standing in Dublin, we wonder what all the fuss and hoo-ha is about. I’m not entirely sure why the police forces in England are so against them. We’re very excited to have them.”

He added that past acts who have played the Trinity Ball, its capacity a little under 6,000, have includedClash, Public Enemy and the Prodigy

Tickets for the shows go on sale this week.