Why? - SWG3, Glasgow, Fri 12 Oct 2012 (3 stars)

Enjoyable performance by the indie alt.hip hop group, despite jitters for frontman Yoni Wolf

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Why? - SWG3, Glasgow, Fri 12 Oct 2012

Why? frontman Yoni Wolf seems a little uncomfortable tonight. Plagued by technical difficulties (the Walkman he uses to cue his lines has faulty batteries, so he’s having to go with front-of-stage speakers – oh, the humanity), he insecurely seeks (and receives) assurance from his bandmates that he’s doing ok before continuing. His dance moves look unnatural and over-rehearsed, as if someone’s told him that throwing shapes makes you popular, but hasn’t taught him how to do it. The rest of the band (including two new members for this tour) are, by contrast, relaxed and easy-going, bantering with the crowd and each other while Wolf frets off-stage, and improvising a couple of tunes in the interim.

Thankfully for Wolf, who co-founded the gamechanging LA-based hip hop and weirdo rock label Anticon back in 1998, the audience are on-side throughout, greeting sing-along favourites like ‘The Vowels, Pt. 2’ and ‘Good Friday’ with rapturous applause and grooving along to newer material from the recently released Mumps, etc. By the encore (which is genuinely well-earned, instead of a standard response offered by a lot of bands), Wolf has hit his stride, convinced that his efforts are appreciated. It’s just a shame it took him so long to realise it.

Why? and Young Fathers

Berkeley hip-hop/indie outfit, fronted by Yoni Wolf, who are part of the Anticon stable. With support from an infectious Edinburgh trio who throw in some formation dance moves for free.

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