Gig review - Shabazz Palaces, Nice 'N Sleazy, Glasgow, Nov 2014
It is over 2 years now since I last saw Shabazz Palaces live in Glasgow, and I was surprised then with how much I enjoyed it. There wasn't much audience interaction as they started their set and kept going for the next 90 minutes. To be perfectly honest there wasn't much audience either and I thought that their latest album, Lese Majesty, may have scared people away rather than brought in the crowds with its leftfield assault on conventional hip-hop. However it turns out I was wrong as instead of 20 people in the basement of a pub they had managed to fill Nice 'N' Sleazy this time around. Their current album is woozy, funky and as close to hip-hop as Miles Davis was to "jazz".
Shabazz Palaces are Ishmael Butler and Tendai Maraire, Seattle based musicians and much as I found when I had seen them before, they don't go in for chirpy audience banter but plough on with their set, which encompasses tracks from their current and previous albums. Whenever the audience showed signs on bopping up or down or starting to dance the beat melts away and we are off in a different direction. Always captivating though, they had the rapt attention of the full house for their 90 minutes set.
Where they take their music next, who knows?