Saturday 9 June 2012

The Internet [Syd tha Kyd & Matt Martian] // Live Review, Leeds Cockpit

I also thought deeply on my own experiences with psychedelic drugs, as well as friends’ experiences. I began writing as if I was the drug, seducing my next victim.” Syd tha Kid describing the writing of the song “Cocaine”.
Est.1987 headed down to The Cockpit to see what else lay behind The Internet’s songs, spawned from the Odd Future collective, the collective that everyone has an opinion on.

“Cocaine” was taken from The Internet’s album “Purple Naked Ladies” which was greeted with mixed reviews. No matter what The Internet released, the very fact that the “OFWGKTA” name was anywhere near it meant people were going to be interested. However, tonight is less about associating the band with the Odd Future name and more to do with exploring The Internet as a stand alone band transferring their songs from record to the live arena.

The Internet's Syd tha Kid
Syd tha Kyd maintains a relatively low profile within the gregarious collective, working in a DJ and producer role. Take Syd, add Matt Martian (also of Odd Future) plus a bassist, drummer and keyboard player and you have created the band that we see on stage. The Internet take to the stage in a modest unassuming manner, putting aside the presumed hype which surrounds them. The crowd on the other hand are oozing for the set to begin; outcries idolising Syd have already commenced. Syd who stands as one of the few openly gay women in hip-hop, has a captivating presence on stage. The soft spoken androgynous front-woman boldly guides The Internet into the set opening with “They Say” followed by the catchy “She Dgaf”. By the third song Syd is warmed up and more relaxed than ever, leaving her Vans sneakers behind and moving effortlessly to the beat in her socks.

The Internet’s songs aren’t songs for the sake of songs, nor are they purposely trying to be controversial; the complex rhythms which the band produces are narrative infused. Stories of love and love lost feature prominently; the band even debut a new love song, where lyrics are yet to be penned. With a more upbeat electronic vibe the new song which the band jams out to is one for the next record. Hit song “Cocaine” instantly resonates with the crowd as they mouth each lyric back at Syd. 

Matt Martian on stage in Leeds
There is something laid back about The Internet’s on stage presence. They also seem to breathe new life into the songs from the record, which is perverse in the respect that many of the tracks feature vocals from other artists which are lost here tonight. Syd’s warming vocal tones ease through the infectious “Web of Me”; its smoother beginnings make way for a building percussion, before teasing the crowd with a breakdown and vocal freestyle. The Internet’s songs pull you in, lulling the audience before falling back, a beat deliberately missed. Matt Martian controls the sound from behind his laptop and strong percussion is offset against lighter melodies, Syd all the time moving to the beat, almost lost in the sound. “Live It Up”, produced by Tyler The Creator and one of Syd’s favourite tracks, she admits, is incredibly infectious and undoubtedly the stand out song of the evening. Its rise and fall, wit and lyricism, combined with jazz and funk influenced sounds (typical of The Internet) adds testament to how good they are live; the crowd unanimously agree, showering the band with praise both throughout the set and more so afterwards. The Internet are intriguing, and the fact that their album was met with mixed reviews certainly does not matter here tonight in Leeds. Their live show rejuvenates the mellowness of the record and allows the songs life and engagement.

Catch The Internet on tour-