After narrowly missing out on seeing The Pharcyde a few years back (due to poor planning at the UK leg of Rock The Bells) I finally managed to make amends on Tuesday night. I wouldn’t claim to be the biggest fan, but I love Hip-Hop, and I try to hunt down the legends.
So…I made my way into Koko and instantly chose the wrong place to stand. Rather than standing on the balcony with a nice clear view, I stood downstairs unable to see anything for the first 20 minutes. The sound wasn’t brilliant, but I’ve come to expect that from Hip-Hop concerts. The crowd had a great vibe, all ages attended, there was an older man in a suit rapping every word of every song and there were 16 year olds who looked like they were there just to get high…….fair play.
As many will know only 2 of the original 4 members tour now (Bootie Brown & Imani) but the remaining members still put on a memorable show, with the help of a DJ, a drummer, and I believe a keyboard player (though I couldn’t really see). Even at their age, the energy they have on stage is unrivalled. They played their classic tracks from Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde & Labcabincalifornia and there was a great chilled atmosphere to go with the music. If few of the weak bladdered even moved out of my way so I started to see more of the show and enjoy myself more. There was the token dancing dude in front of me at one point, the place is packed and this guy is grinding by himself. Did he know at one point it was me behind him? Did he enjoy at it as much as me? Who knows?
Towards the end of the set, they dropped ‘Passing Me By’, and everyone went mental…..including me. They tore the place down with that song, playing it through and even adding an extended instrumental ending. Bootie Brown and Imani then walked off stage, whilst the crowd screamed for them to come back on. The musicians then started playing the beat to Jay-Z & Kanye’s ‘N****z In Paris’, followed by Dr. Dre’s ‘Next Episode’, before the 2 Pharcyder’s walked back on stage to perform another handful of songs. The crowd loved ‘Yo Mama’ (Yo mama, yo mama, yo mama) and they fittingly finished with ‘Runnin’, the reaction from fans this time made the earlier reaction look like a tennis audience.
Even with the less than spectacular sound and my lack of height, the gig was brilliant. I would recommend any lover of music to try and see them before they stop touring. The great show was wrapped up nicely by Bootie Brown coming out to say hi to me and a good friend, I was fortunate enough to have a few beers with him last year and he was then and continues to be now, a true gentleman.