LEGEND’S – WHAT DO they conjure up in your mind? Who are they? What do they do? Everyone has hero’s, and legends are forged in every aspect of life. There are obvious, inescapable legends like Michael Jordan or David Attenborough, masters of their craft. There are poker legends like David Sklansky barely heard of outside of the game. There are legends of all kinds and I was fortunate enough to see the Sugar Hill Gang perform live about 10 feet away from me with Melle Mel (White Lines anyone?) supporting two of the original members.
Why are the Sugar Hill Gang special? In 1979 their seminal hit Rapper’s Delight smashed open the door for future rap acts and was a huge international hit, the best selling 12″ rap vinyl to this very day. Nowadays they’d maybe be labelled as one hit wonders, but they dropped the biggest selling rap record!! EVER! So irrespective of anything that happened at the gig, it was going to be a privilege to see two of the original members (not sure what happened to the other guy) and Melle Mel, a legend in his own right.
After nearly going headlong into other cars down a one way street system in Glasgow during torential rain, as if the car I was driving was weeping ceaselessly, so hard was it to see outside the windscreen , Glasgow the city of fiendish road planning nearly delivered me and my girlfriend into A&E.
What about the gig? It was sold out and when the warm up act failed to materialise the main act appeared earlier than expected. They rocked through some 80’s hits, not their own, which gave it a slightly strange hip hop karaoke vibe until they did Apache and Rapper’s Delight.
It was a pleasure to be there and get the tickets signed. But the guys are in their 50’s, at the end of the show they looked tired. They
looked like they wanted to be somewhere else. It’s hard to keep the energy going. Luckily Melle Mel keep the place rocking with plenty of crowd interaction and on stage extroversion. In fact sadly, he stole the show with his energetic presence that never rested.
In the end it was well worth it. It just looked a little sad as the Sugar Hill Gang members looked low on confidence as if somehow they shouldn’t be there. That’s what time can do sometimes.
Are these guys even the original Sugar Hill Gang members? I can’t even be sure, this is the promo pic for the UK gigs.