Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip; Stylus, Leeds, 24/01/13
Arriving ten minutes into the set of iTCH, the night began with me staring into the face of a crying baby. Wearing a somewhat oddly realistic, over-sized baby mask and going under the moniker of Screwface, iTCH’s keyboardist instantly added an element of intrigue to the night. Having adopted more elements of hip-hop into his music since the demise of the King Blues, iTCH provided an upbeat and lively set to warm up the crowd for Scroobius Pip and Dan Le Sac, despite most of the audience waiting dully for the main act.
Soon enough, Dan Le Sac took his place on stage, teasing the crowd with the start of ‘Stunner’, before Pip burst on to join in the fun. The first single from their recently released album, Repent, Replenish, Repeat, ‘Stunner’ instantly got the crowd raring to go. Such an aggressive opening was enhanced by Le Sac’s brilliantly heavy and industrial beat, as the Stylus was filled with the angst screams of the chorus. The duo ventured into older material with fan favourite ‘The Beat That My Heart Skipped’ before winding down into the romantic lyricism found in ‘Look For The Woman’ and ‘Cauliflower’, for which Sarah Williams White joined them onstage for a great vocal offering. With Dan switching between the delivery of amazing beats and drunken jesting, a great atmosphere was set.
Getting acquainted with a bottle (which turned out to be a remedy for a sore throat as opposed to his usual wine) and his armchair, Pip engaged the crowd with the macabre storytelling of ‘Porter’, ‘Terminal’, and ‘Angles’. Venturing through the themes of mental health and suicide, Pip delivered an incredibly moving performance of all 3, aided by his use of props for character separation during the last. Between songs he uttered apologies for the increasingly morbid content for this tour, though due to his performance, none were necessary.
For the last time of the night, things were to slow down for a live rendition of their latest single, ‘You Will See Me’. Having previously seen Pip perform his solo stuff at Reading, along with the aforementioned rendition of ‘Angles’, I knew to expect more emotive performances as the night went on. Not only did he deliver yet again, but he presented one of the most powerful performances I’ve seen; early moshpits were replaced by jaws-dropping, the singing of the crowd by a silent awe in what was by far my favourite part of the evening.
Following an evening of songs old and new, the duo returned to fan-favourites when they came back to the stage for Pip’s solo hit, ‘Introdiction’ and the night ended with Le Sac proving his excellence at the deck. He introduced a drum and bass infused rave element to the night, remixing the outro of ‘Letter From God To Man’ into Prodigy’s ‘Voodoo People’ and as the crowd lost themselves in the music, Pip left the stage to take up his position at the merch stand.