Danny Brown – The Arches, Glasgow, Sat 15 Jun 2013
Energetic show from bizarre Detroit rapper fails to keep crowd’s attention
By no means the sole hot ticket of Glasgow’s gig scene this evening (The Stone Roses are performing just along the road), an appearance from Detroit rapper Danny Brown at the Arches nevertheless generates a certain level of excitement among the trap-savvy populace tonight. Equal parts depraved, comic and absurd, he's been making his name as one of the more eccentric players on the rap scene after putting out his debut album XXX for free online in 2011, and is due to follow-up with the release of album two later this year. With support from Pro Vinalist Karim and Jackmaster, the crowd’s amped up and ready to dance by the time Brown’s DJ-slash-hype man appears and starts alternately fiddling with his laptop and pumping his arms furiously. This high level of energy continues when Brown himself takes to the stage – although noticeably, only for about two minutes at a time.
This constant ebb and flow is a peculiar thing to watch as the gig draws on. At the start of every song, everyone’s onboard; by the mid-point, the stamina and or attention-span of almost all in the crowd has dropped off, and there’s a sense of people generally milling about, waiting for the next track to begin. It’s the result of a gap between Brown’s delivery and his material: he’s such a unique and charismatic performer that each fresh song brings about a new sense of purpose, but these tracks rarely go anywhere, and once his substance-addled bizarro-shtick wears off, there’s very little to keep the interest of an audience that’d typically already be clicking to the next track.