Wu Legends - 02 ABC, Glasgow, Thu 12 Jul
Lacklustre hip hop show from GZA, Ghostface Killah and Raekwon
In a career plagued with creative inconsistency and marred with personal conflicts and criminal indictments, the chequered history of hip hop's greatest collective, Wu Tang Clan, has often hindered their creative output rather than informed it. Recently the Clan have consistently failed to turn up as a full collective, instead allowing for lesser hype men to do their bidding. With this in mind, a rebranded Wu Legends 4-date UK tour should seem like money for old rope for those billed to be representing - GZA, Ghostface Killah, Raekwon and Method Man. Instead, the Clan's Talisman, Method Man, fails to turn up tonight, with no explanation. None would seem necessary now either, as this mentality of a no-show seems to have become as widely accepted as Axl Rose's chronic tardiness. That aside, we are still graced with the presence of three of the greatest MCs to ever spit rhymes and an hour-long set of hits that span the entire Wu Tang back-catalogue -- from the brilliant interplay between Ghostface and Raekwon on 'Ice Cream' to the deep pulsing grooves of 'Duel of the Iron Mic' from GZA's classic Liquid Swords album. The token 36 Chambers medley of 'Cream' and 'Protect ya Neck' is also served up as nostalgic fodder but despite the vibrant atmosphere and relentless breakbeats, you can't help but wonder if the Clan are just going through the motions at this stage in their career.
Littered with crass insincerities that only serve to patronise the ABC crowd (Raekwon reminding us how we are all the 'same' and 'connected', for example, whilst encouraging us to buy a t-shirt on the way out), this was the icing on a very transparent and thinly spread cake. With the group now celebrating their 20th year one can't help but wonder when the Clan will reach a definite conclusion with their legacy intact. Instead they seem to be providing a head-scratching bewilderment amongst fans that celebrate the surrender of art to commerce rather than the foundations and wisdom that their ideology was initially built on.