Manchester Planet K

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[B]Bad Magic[/B] is cultivating fresh old-skool acts who could rock a party in a graveyard...

It’s a throwdown, a showdown, a, um, wet, and rather quiet, Wednesday night in Manchester. Still, the diehards are in good hands, for Bad Magic (Wall Of Sound’s spin-off hip-hop label) is cultivating fresh old-skool acts who could rock a party in a graveyard.

Straight outta Ipswich, East Anglia, MC Ezra-Ked-Ezra – the one MC in Vinyl Dialect’s [I]”one MC and two DJs”[/I] set-up – may look a little lonely up there, coaxing punters to the front, but he’s not easily put off. Later, in a startling case of taking the mountain to Mohammed, EKE jumps into what crowd there is, and wanders among them rapping.

Such showmanship goes a long way. Not that we need much persuading to VD’s sparse, well-sprung tunes, and EKE’s ability to flow smoothly, at about 100mph, before turning swiftly to cut in and out of the DJs, creating passages of airtight staccato funk.

VD would slay a busy Saturday night, as would LA’s Ugly Duckling, busters of stupid dope, or just plain daft, moves. Sadly, a skipping record curtails MC Andy Cat‘s plastic gangsta impression, but DJ Young Einstein (no DATs here!) is ceremoniously, and hilariously, presented with an old-skool rope-chain in honour of his skills. No mere novelty act, the Duckling also have, in the likes of the summery ‘Everybody C’mon’ and the jumpy, piano-led ‘Now Who’s Laughin?’, Jurassic 5-ish tunes that are bursting with good vibes. Bad Magic: no rabbit-in-a-hat tricks, but plenty that’ll make you smile.