7th September 1999. Public Enemy. Wulfren Hall. Wolverhampton. £12:50.

This gig was downsized from The Civic to The Wulfren. After years really without any hit records PE’s LP they were touring was a very dark return to form.

I really do rate Public Enemy and what they achieved with their first two albums was remarkable. Controversy. Incredible characters and probably most importantly – A noise you just hadn’t heard before.

Although their 3rd album (Fear Of A Black Planet) is widely praised in the music press I think it offers nothing new and is a funked up move into complacency.

However after a few more wide of the mark studio albums There’s A Poison Going On, for me at least, works. Why? I can’t say why. Maybe it’s the charged up pre-millenium tension of the time it was released. Maybe it’s the return of Professor Griff. Maybe it was the band letting down their (proverbial) hair.

The latest (1999) albums tracks – incredibly when I come to think of it – were the highlights of this show. They played the classics too (guess any band has to to an extent). Most notable was a re-working of Black Steel In The Hour Of Chaos – arguably the outfits best ever track.

However the doom laden menace of Do You Wanna Go Our Way, World Tour Sessions and Dark Side Of the Wall from their (then) latest offering had the back of neck hairs up – which is something you just can’t manufacture.

Public Enemy looked as if they were really enjoying the show too and the “intimate” venue for such a legendary band just worked somehow. Real dark hip hop with no women hating and / or self indulgence. Hip Hop as it should be.

Rate 10 out of 10.


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