MC Lars – Leeds Cockpit

By paul

A live review from someone who?s a self-confessed fan (to make an understatement) of the headline act is never going to convince an army of naysayers, so if you?re in the band of MC LARS haters, I suggest you stop reading after I finish with MILK2SUGARS or at least refrain from making a fool of yourself in the comments.

The Leeds date of the Lars tour is the only one I currently know of with just the one support, which meant MILK2SUGARS had ample time to leave an impression on what was a fairly full second room at The Cockpit. Flying straight into the signature tune from their EP, ? First One Past the Line?, M2S are tighter than a duck?s arse and the cheer which the opener receives is audibly louder than you expect it to be. Vocalist/guitarist Neil had been struggling with his voice in the preceding 24 hours, but it doesn?t impact on the performance a jot. The ?Sugars have taken out the ska fills in a couple of their songs and now they?re truly flying under the banner of brassed-up rock. There isn?t a muted upstroke in sight, and, in my opinion, they?re a better band for it. It was evident from a reasonable number of CDs sold that the crowd, obviously not one they were automatically going to win over, was relatively impressed. As was I. 8/10

MC LARS is an enigma. He?s fun yet mildly serious, and his knowledge of hiphop is far greater than most people would give him credit for (see the next podcast/interview, coming shortly). Tonight he makes a set which lasted for over an hour seem like it was half that. Admittedly I?m a dirty little fanboy, but to do that without flagging or losing any pace in rapping was impressive. The show has undertones of ?Hey! There?s more to me than Signing Emo?, with Lars demonstrating most of the new album (minus the collaborations), but the shrieks from young girls (and boys) when he played the well-known tracks from the Laptop EP were mightily loud. As I said in my review of The Graduate, Lars is not the world?s greatest rapper. His CD is about more than rhythm and flow, but it?s a testament to his live show that his delivery is impressive enough to be a marked feature of his performance, going above and beyond what some people would say is his limit as a performer.

For anyone who gave him a chance, he repaid the faith along with a year?s worth of dividends tonight. Confident yet not arrogant, the Lars live show, for the fans (and possibly beyond them), is even better than record. 9/10