I had my reservations about catching one of the UK's hottest Hip Hop acts play out live to, no offence, a slightly suspect Jazz Café crowd. It's not a venue famed for its Hip Hop Heads audience and although Orifice Vulgatron and company are supporting a four night residency from The Herbalizer, this was always going to be a tough crowd to crack.
Fortunately for Foreign Beggars, they have a DagNabbit capable of producing beats powerful enough to thaw even the most resilient of onlookers. The dropping of new single Let Go, early on in this 45-minute teaser, a perfect example. With prompting spits of "Let Go if you feel it in the sole of your feet," firing from the consistently in form Orifice Vulgatron and a beat that could shake Anne Robinsons face lift back to its shrivelled roots, this small gathering in North London began to stir.
The set continued to gather pace with ease, as Orifice, DJ NoNames and Metropolis delivered a mix of spits and beats from the highly and rightly acclaimed 'Asylum Speakers'. Somewhere amongst this appetiser of a support set Orifice announces a new track, telling the crowd that the Jazz Café was about to go a bit Pantera, a grin spreading across his face as he swigged on some Hennessey. He's referring to a fresh beat given to them by Oh No (MadLib's younger brother) and the track is projected with an energy that leads perfectly into the already iconic Skinnyman collaboration 'Hold On'. The only track to get a rewind and the penultimate show stopper in the Foreign Beggars repertoire.
The final show stopper coming, of course, from Leeds. Shlomo. As he did a week or so ago at Cargo, Shlomo displayed incredible beat boxing technique and showmanship to get the crowd, somewhat belatedly, pumped. Working through an intricately rehearsed Hip Hop medley, battling with DJ NoNames using just his own vocal chords, Shlomo continued to prove his mechanically biological talents while simultaneously rubber-stamping the Foreign Beggars into the minds of the now uninhibited crowd.
As a finale Orifice Vulgatron and Shlomo treated us to some Drum 'n' Bass entirely delivered by voice boxes. This spectacle alone making the entrance fee worth paying for. To quote a friend of mine, "Don't sleep on these heads."
Check out their website www.foreignbeggars.co.uk and pick out one of their up coming live dates. You have to see these guys.