Just over a week ago, some friends and I witnessed Public Enemy live (again). Although this concert was a long way from the grand expanse of The Forum in Kentish Town, North London, the gig was rabble–rousingly intimate at The Corner hotel in Richmond.
This time round the militia were pumping their tour of 1990‘s Fear Of A Black Planet. Although they gave the show a lot of effort and their skills were there to thrill –it was all too clear in my mind that these guys had long since fallen asleep at the wheel. Or, to be sympathetic: are now well past their prime.
However, they fronted up for over 2 hours and gave us all a thrilling set. Apart from catching Flava Flav lip-syncing every now and then; everything else was overwhelmingly enjoyable –the fresh set list complete with crowd participation, political spiels, guests (including members of 2 Live Crew) and a tight freestyle battle between Chuck D and Flav that pretty much clinched the value of the $90 ticket, or therebouts. All–in–all, it was a brilliant show for the die–hard fans and certainly no staggering disappointment for the rest of us. And then there were the ageing Aussie homeboys: but that’s another story entirely.