Manchester Night & Day

"Live onstage, with hairy arses and moustaches, [B]The Idiots[/B]"

British hip-hop’s unique selling point is, obviously, that it’s British. That rhymes-wise, it offers up a whole new vocabulary, not to mention life experience.

“Live onstage, with hairy arses and moustaches, The Idiots,” the posters declare. Manc hip-hop hopes The Idiots don’t actually sport facial fuzz ([I]NME[/I] cannot vouch for elsewhere), but said posters certainly give a flavour of their world – all cancer sticks, Page Three girls, jiggery-pokery and Dick Turpin. Grand Royal, among others, are rumoured to be chasing them in the US.

And not just, one imagines, because they think Pro-Plus and Rod Hotley‘s novel verbiage will charm Americans. Sonic sculptors Jay Glaze, Cold DJ Reko and Chubby Grooves (the latter two on turntables) work up elastic, fresh tunes – all clipped samples and crunchy, unpolished beats. The subtlety of which is, unfortunately, lost in a muggy audio fog tonight.

The slinky seesaw of keys and beats, ‘Dawn Chorus’, just about survives, and Pro-Plus and Rod work a super-sharp give’n’take, but the set is ragged and uneven; the mood not lightened by The Idiots‘ surprising reluctance to flirt with, and balloon around for the crowd.

Far too good to be hobbled by something as prosaic as crap sound, hopefully The Idiots will sparkle with greater clarity in future.