Live Review: Neon Neon, Yo Majesty! (AU MAGAZINE, ISSUE 52)
November 5, 2009, 8:07 pm
Filed under: Live Reviews


Neon Neon, Yo! Majesty
Stiff Kitten
November 22nd, 2008

Despite hobbling around pain-faced in the November chill beforehand, Yo! Majesty’s first swipe at boosting their Belfastian fan-base is Hot Tomalis all the way. As billed, the act is doused with impish digs at steroid-rap culture and you can only imagine how they were received in the Floridian rap-shanties, or how they reconcile onstage felatio simulation with their Christianity.

Far from sulky dissidents, however, the pair balance antagonism with modesty and humour, making for an inclusive experience. The tunes see Shunda K’s supercalifragulistic spitting enforced by Jwl B’s God-like baritone howl (God’s a chick obviously) and when thwarted by tech gremlins the pair freestyle accapella, a magic trick to this pasty Strokes fan. Stemming the inherent monotony of 30 minutes of rapping is the Technicolor, cutting-edge production – unremitting, Block Party-fit afro-futurism courtesy of Basement Jaxx amongst others. Which, when fed through S.K.’s sound-system causes the kind of uncomfortable arterial reverberation that crosses your eyes, in other words a hunk of Southern Fried awesome.

As desaturated John Delorean iconography plays on big screens behind them, Neon Neon summon the transportative ‘Dream Cars’, a highlight of this year’s beloved electric-operetta ‘Stainless Style’, Neon Neon’s dry-ice re-imagining of their muse’s Faustian demise. Despite having hawkish producer Boom-Bip in tow the crispness is diffused by drafty acoustics. What is preserved however is the sincere emotion concealed on the record’ despite a slavish devotion to the denatured simulacra of late-eighties production. As such, Gruff Ryss’ tragicomic magical-realism is served to the fans aboard a crop of genuinely moving pop songs.

It’s a nice touch to have Har Mar as an unseen continuity announcer to advance the loose tragi-comic narrative chartered on the concept album. Never one to disappoint, the funkosaur materializes for ‘Trick or Treat’, the McFabulous persona in full bloom and rocking ‘Space-Egyptian’ despite from the neck-up looking like a Tijuana ‘Nam veteran. That Delorean’s doomed theatre was played out 3 miles north of here in the setting of a Troubles-ravaged West Belfast adds a poignancy not lost on the collective and they replay ‘Belfast’ before gunning the engines for a pounding techno finish.

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