Gig review: dan le sac Vs Scroobius Pip (The Arches)

dan le sac Vs Scroobius Pip
dan le sac Vs Scroobius Pip

It’s been seven years since dan le sac and Scroobius Pip added a ‘Vs’ to their names and created one of the UK’s most intelligent hip-hop duos.

Since then a variety of EPs and three albums, released between solo side projects, have been increasingly successful - with their latest, ‘Repent Replenish Repeat’, reaching the dizzying heights of number 22 in the charts.

But it’s their live act that has caught the imagination more than anything, a point demonstrated once again at an incendiary performance in Glasgow’s Arches venue.

Ably supported by RnB popstrel Sarah Williams White and rapper Itch - both of whom join the main act on stage at points - it’s a set that leaps from juvenile humour to heartfelt pathos in the space of a few beats.

Dan’s the man with those beats, weaving a soundscape behind and around Pip’s dizzying rhymes while an intricate lightshow rains down on the sold-out audience.

The subjects are as broad as the smile which frequently breaks out on Pip’s face, turning his bearded guru-like facade into something more akin to a circus ringmaster. Religion, politics, love and death are all visited with the same mix of wit and musicality.

A total of four new tracks are played which, with the exception of opener ‘Stunner’, are slower numbers.

Pip feels the need to apologise for their presence, explaining with some bafflement that they “seem to be popular”.

There’s no need though; they act as a foil for the faster cuts, allowing some reflection amidst the artful chaos.

Then there’s the plentiful classics, with ‘Thou Shalt Always Kill’ closing the main set and ‘Letter From God To Man’ ending the encore.

It’s the former which delivers a list of new commandments, the eponymous first of which they satisfy emphatically this evening.