If hooks could kill

When Scritti Politti last played live in front of an audience, an astonishing twenty six years ago, Green Gartside (pictured) experienced such a terrifying attack of stage fright, he had a heart attack at the age of 23.

Since then, Green’s career has been beset with personal troubles of one sort or another which has stop-started his career.

No sign of stage fright was evident on Tuesday night at the Scala, Kings Cross where Scritti Politti got down to play a fantastically proficient and enjoyable two hour set. Green, looking dapper and relaxed (and extremely well for 50) worked through the songs from the unexpectedly gorgeous new album, threw in a couple of old Scritti classics (The ‘Sweetest’ Girl and Wood Beez) and, for me the highlight of the show, a number of hip-hop doggerels by obscure New York rhymsters he has worked with over the years.

Green can’t exactly be called the most prolific musician in the world, having released five albums in the last 25 years, not helped by reclusive retreats back to his native South Wales to get away from the business of the music business and the vagaries of fame. His work includes some of the finest songs in the entire canon of English Pop Music and has influenced, if never directly credited, one, maybe two, generations of black and white musicians on both sides of Atlantic with those lyrics, those arrangements and that uniquely distinctive voice.

This was an edifying, satistying, soulful evening with the great Green Gartside. And I am, as I’ve always been, a fan.

Guardian interview.

41 Responses to “If hooks could kill”

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