There's a number dropping trend going on at the moment. 5ive have become four, and Jurassic 5 finally became, er, five this year. When Cut Chemist left the Californian hip-hop crew their fans watched closely to see if the next album would still deliver. However, they needn't have feared, as with the exception of a few bum notes (e.g 'Brown Girl' ), new album Feedback is still classic J5. The only hurdle left to negotiate was their live show. Cut Chemist and DJ Nu-mark have always played a double-act role in live J5 shows, so it was with intrigue that the crowd awaited their appearance at a sold out gig at Brixton academy.
Kicking off with the anthemic 'Jayou' was a sure fire way to get the crowd on side, but new track, Gotta Understand was received with the same delight as much of their older material. Although, nothing could of course compare to the reaction of perennial favourite, Concrete SchoolYard.
Chali 2na, Akil, Soup and Mark 7 certainly know how to entertain their crowds, and even when you have played along with their onstage imaginary motorbike antics several times before, it is still amusing to see a theatre full of twenty-something's being taught how to dance to hip hop. New gimmicks included personalised desks for each member, hooked up to samples which they sat and played at the front of the stage, as well as dance routine that would not have been out of place at a gig by the aforementioned 5ive!
The crew barely stopped for breath during their 2 hour set and even when Numark stepped up to demonstrate his DJ skills the crowd kept going. Their Dave Matthews sampling single 'Work it Out' was a brilliant note to return to the stage with and the rest of the encore was a chance to witness some free-styling skills from all 4 MC's.
Jurassic 5 proved not only that they can cope without Cut Chemist, but also that Hip Hop's sunnier side is still as popular and polished as ever. Oh, and the track played over the PA as the crowd left to brave the Brixton streets.....'Brown Girl'. Well, at least it has one use!