Cypress Hill (Reading & Leeds 2010)
A sunny afternoon listening to the harmless, mainly weed orientated old-school rapping of Cypress Hill, what could be better? Rappers Sen Dog and B-Real (man, I miss the 90s), treated enthusiastic fans to the huge hit 'How I Could Just Kill a Man' and the instantly recognisable 'Insane In The Membrane' which had crowds hopping to the unmistakable sound of original rap years - that 'woooo' sound the turntables make...does it have a name?
The group's frontmen paused after 'Insane' and B-Real pondered, "I gotta ask you a question - 'cos it seem like you've been smoking. Are you motherfuckers high right now?" A loud, yet curiously relaxed cheer went up as B-Real broke out a joint the size of a drumstick as if from nowhere, had trouble lighting it and then successfully fired up to the joy of the relatable audience. All inconspicuousness out the window, fans everywhere revealed their own wacky-tobaccy and the whole arena was hotboxed with wafts coming from all directions as fans blazed that belvedere, chonged that Mary-Jane, toked that blueberry and sipped that Biffy Clyro. One nice fellow with dreadlocks next to me even managed to crack out a small glass bong, how and where he kept it hidden is best left to the imagination. As instructed by Cypress Hill in the next song 'Hits From the Bong', the band's followers (now breaking out the pom-bears and Mars Bars) were commanded to 'Inhale, Exhale' and were happy to oblige. That's one way to ensure the fans enjoy your music I suppose, get them all doped up and rap about weed.
The set was 85% marijuana orientated and 15% about the music, so forgive this article for being pretty mono-topical. Kings of peer-pressure, Cypress Hill's obsession with the average drug left crowds with munchies so intense that the food sales alone are making Reading 2011 possible. Melvyn Benn knows who to thank.