Live Review
Egyptian Hip Hop, The Garage, London
Egyptian Hip Hop
No Address1
London
07/12/09

If Egyptian Hip Hop aren’t sitting pretty atop a majority of ones-to-watch polls next month, I’ll eat my own hands. If they’re not there justly, you don’t even wanna know what’s lined up for dessert. Tonight, truth be told, edges my body parts closer to the dinner plate – it’s a ropey ‘ol show of malfunctioning equipment and answering shrugs from the Manchester four-piece. It ends with singer Alex Hewitt announcing, “sorry, we don’t usually suck that much”, having spent the past half hour looking anywhere but up. His band mates share a similar stage presence, playing introspectively to each other, side on to the audience at best. When the bachlash begins, y’know, a month after those heady OTW days, people will say that that’s arrogance, although is looks equally as likely to be shyness expected from such a young band from here. Despite all of this, and the sack on drummer Alex Pierce’s head, Egyptian Hip Hop defend the hype with an impressive show of digit-saving diversity. ‘Rad Pitt’ is sloppy but ultimately still the faultless, forlorn pop that will have all those poles inaccurately labelling this band ‘2010’s MGMT’ – Late Of The Pier would be more fitting. Because while a swap-a-rama of instruments ensues, smart-synthy disco is surrounded by instrumental, electro prog, Happy Mondays funk, heart-aching Cure vocals, that weird, twitchy indie dance almost mastered by Twisted Charm and, at one point, dirty, Stooges-esque grunge riffs. MGMT have never sounded this imaginative or proficient, but have definitely played some stinkers in their time. Let’s put tonight down to an ‘off day’, because Egyptian Hip Hop clearly have more to offer.

By Stuart Stubbs

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Originally published in issue 13 (vol 3) of Loud And Quiet. December 2009