Monday, 12 May 2014


As the fastest selling gig of all time at Belfast's Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival gets underway, famed Long Island hip-hoppers De La Soul take centre stage with a calmness and charismatic confidence worthy of great leaders.

The message from rappers Posdnuos, aka Kelvin Mercer, and Trugoy, aka Dave Jolicoeur, appears to be: "This is what and how we're going to perform: if you don't like it, then that’s too bad."

And it is the sort of attitude that the Custom House Square crowd pick up on. Despite its truncated nature, the event justifies the hype and hoopla; Mercer, Jolicoeur and collaborator DJ Maseo deliver a beat-boxing, foot-stomping, chorus chanting funkathon packed with energy and excitement. The words of the songs can't really be made out in all the hubbub, but that matters little in an atmosphere generally more suited for dancing than singing.

Highlights include the classic "Magic Number", a mix featuring "Like A Virgin" and "Name and Number", and of course, "Me, Myself & I". Sadly, "Eye Know" doesn't get a look in, though to be fair, the band aren't here to pander to those expecting every song from breakthrough album "3 Feet High And Rising".

What is lacking is the time on stage De La Soul truly warrant; Mercer and Jolicoeur's back catalogue is worthy of a longer set than this. Still, their rapport and energy has made everyone happy. Let's hope it's not too long before we see De La Soul in these parts again.