It was incredible night of music, with Dublin DJ Handsome Paddy warming up the crowd with a mix of obscure beats and oldskool classics before People Under The Stairs took control of the packed out venue and treated us to an education in street knowledge.
Double K (Michael Turner) and Thes One (Christopher Portugal) describe themselves as “just good old hip-hop”, but in truth there’s a something more here. The group excel at the fundamentals that brought the genre to the world stage: deep groove samples, irresistible breakbeats, and simplistic street corner emceeing. Double K’s skills on the turntable are undeniable, sampling everything from soul, jazz, reggae and especially funk. This bedrock is the perfect platform for Thes One’s laid back and somehow simultaneously heavy hitting rhymes. The guy can spit! On the few tracks that both MC’s rap on they display the kind of off the cuff chemistry that can only come from years of practice.
The whole evening was slightly bittersweet as the group announced it was to be their 2nd last ever show, with the final one taking place in London’s Jazz Café the following night. All we can do is keep listening to their excellent back catalogue and hope they someday change their minds….