De La Soul

De La Soul are well and truly alive

Having played their first gig in the UK 20 years ago, De La Soul’s five-day-long stint at the Jazz Café had been highly anticipated.

For a group as well-known as themselves, performing in such an intimate venue must have been a blessing for the members, Dave, Pos and Maseo, as much as for the audience.

The warm-up house DJ managed to knacker out the majority of the crowd before De La Soul even came on but from the moment DJ Maseo shouted “Jazz Café wassup wassup” the place exploded with enthusiasm and excitement. Maseo, dubbed as a “Happy Buddha” by an eager fan, got the crowd suitably animated before the other two joined him on the stage to complete the trio. Songs such as “Stakes Is High” and “Whatever Happened To The MC?” featured early in the set, with a lot of banter between the group and the crowd, and with an atmosphere like this, one could easily forget that just outside the door was indie-punk-dominated Camden Town.

Old-school crowd pleasers such as “All Good” and “Me Myself and I” appearing mid-set lived up to expectation, followed by “Saturday”, where the trio definitely proved that in the world of De La Soul every day is Saturday. There was a real sense of camaraderie and lifelong friendship between the three, accumulated from being together for so long and there is no doubt that everyone in the audience felt this.

In the case of De La Soul, three was definitely the magic number, and by the looks of the crowd, all with three fingers up in the air, they certainly seemed to agree.

When the set seemed to be over, the three members vacated the stage, leaving the audience gagging for more, and once they reappeared, they didn’t disappoint, bringing with them drinks and the fruit basket from the dressing room, which all three went on to pass out to the crowd.

For a group with such a large and somewhat varied repertoire, they pitched the set just right, with some new material but not denying or forgetting their earlier roots of “Three Feet High and Rising” or “De La Soul is Dead”. This night definitely proved that De La Soul are well and truly alive and will be for a long time to come.

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