Live Music + Gig Reviews

Outkast @ Brixton Academy, London

21 June 2001



On this night, even though you know where you are and how you got there, for a split second you not only question where you are but what the hell you are doing there. I was in the middle of a large crowd of likeminded “music enthusiasts” when I felt this uncertainty. I don’t know why I felt this feeling for sure, nor was I sure of what had caused it.

It may have been the knee-shaking bass. It may have been an outer body experience when God had taken me out of my earthly body and told me that it was my duty to save the marmosets (SAVE THE MARMOSETS). It may have been the smell of over a thousand people who had not been overly generous with their deoderants on the hottest day of the year to date. It could even have been the KFC zinger burger, large fries, large diet coke, two pints of lukewarm Fosters, one bottle of Becks, two whisky chasers, one vodka chaser, a pill…

To make things worse there was a thin white guy to my right, wearing a pair of Reebok Classics, trying to form a box in the air with his hands and feet. His actions can only be explained if he was pissed and trying to have a sign language conversation with a spotlight.

The blonde girl in front of me with an inexplicably large and wobbly arse offered an unimaginably irritating side-to-side dance that remained exact throughout the set, varying only with tempo. She didn’t do much to help either.

I looked around the venue and saw that the two aforementioned challenged individuals were not alone and part of a never growing collective. Hollywood suggested that “white men can’t jump” but prolonged exposure suggested that white men also couldn’t dance. In away this was the only hindrance to the magnificent atmosphere in the Brixton Academy, except for the harsh treble that often lost some vocal clarity.

The band on stage, Outkast, proved that whilst contemporaries such as Dr Dre (and his ever expanding legion of “homiez”) are destroying hip-hop with their “sell-out” commercialism, the cause is still alive and well.

The extensive back catalogue, as well as recent singles, helped to showcase Outkast’s highly individual stage presence. For some reason I can’t remember much more than that.

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Outkast @ Brixton Academy, London