London Camden Dingwalls

Our rating:

Palatable, but unsubstantial.

Oh wow, like, everyday is Saturday, y’know? And like, this is gonna be [I]such [/I]a great summer, eh? And you remember how you used to skip school as a kid? Wasn’t that just, like, [I]crazy[/I]? Incessant chirpiness in the face of utter adversity? We’re talking Canadians, dude. We’re talking Ontario’s bright-cheeked, bouncing B-boys (an’ a girl), [a]Len[/a].

While DJs Moves and Drunkness Monster battle with dodgy turntables and occasionally fire out a barrage of propulsive old-skool beats, MCs Burger Pimp, D-Rock, Planet Pea and, er, Sharon do a mostly charming vaudeville hip-hop routine in front of us. Best known round these parts for ‘Steal My Sunshine’, that irresistible Jurassic 5-tinged shuffle that graced the soundtrack to [I]Go[/I], tonight [a]Len[/a] prove they’ve got enough pantomime rap moves and hard rockin’ cuts like ‘Cold Chillin’ to just about distract us from the fact that ‘The Hit’ is far and away their best tune.

Like a TV dinner, [a]Len[/a] serve a barely nutritious, warmed-up version of hip-hop, which is palatable, but unsubstantial. When they muck up a call-and-response skit, you can’t help but think that, as with their native country, their roots don’t reach back far enough. But then, with the show falling apart around them as Technics die, the Burger Pimp and Sharon suddenly break into an a cappella version of the theme to [I]Laverne & Shirley[/I], and you realise that [a]Len[/a] couldn’t give a fuck about integrity, or authenticity, or keepin’ it real. They just wanna, like, rock your world. Mission accomplished.