Manchester United’s official poet has recently transformed his art from spoken word, to spoken word with a beat. A funky beat, at that, as punchy tunes such as Frank and new single Neighbours prove, bringing a new energy to the poetry that mancunian David Scott speaks, in Alternative Hip-hop project ARGH KiD.

Tonight, the Eagle Inn pub in Salford hosts proceedings. Upon arrival, I’m greeted by David himself, who is welcoming everyone at the door. A nice touch, which sets up the warm connection with his audience, building throughout as even though the room in which support acts Narcissus, Dave Viney (poet) and the main act play is small, the intimacy importantly resounds tonight.

First act Narcissus recently reformed in order to perform songs recorded over 10 years ago, recovered from drummer Chris’ laptop (in which, he says, is less technological than the modern iPhone). As they take to the stage, their heavy electronic rock fills the room with noise. Good noise, as the experimental set up (electronic drum kit, background synths and the lead singer constantly switching microphone effects) shows the level of craft and intricacy they have used to produce their sound. A perfect measure of electronic/technical probing and familiar live sonics, the crisp sound of the Roland drum kit and guitarist Josh’s brilliance impress throughout the set. An extra-terrestrial experience, at the end of their set the frontman summarise’s his lyrical content and band’s presence with a warning: “be careful, it’s mayhem out there.”

Onto Dave Viney, with pints in hand the audience are treated to words that resound only to a northern crowd. With a poem highlighting the contrast of the North vs South divide, it is a performance littered with Northern pride, as the charm of our region is celebrated. Further on, an ode to Manchester’s hip-hop states “that’s phat. with a P-H. Phat. Sounds less like P Diddy than did-he?”. And as this artist’s word-play and wholeheartedly northern references warm up the room, one of the most poignant moments of the night plays out at the end of the set. A poem half written before and then finished after the Manchester attacks, to close a warm set.

ARGH KiD 2
Credit: Debbie Ellis

ARGH KiD promptly arrive on stage, and although calls for the audience to move towards the front of the stage, they hesitate at first. But when the music kicks in, awkwardness is thrown aside and tensions are loosened. The band start with an instrumental jam, before Argh Kid’s most popular single ‘Frank’ next, where Argh Kid exclaims he is “king of the day”. His stage presence shows he truly believes it, confident with a swagger whilst holding a mic, spitting in time to a beat. His vocals tonight are very crisp, and through exaggerated hand movements he has the audience hanging on his every word. The full band, David Scott on vocals; Jim Admitt on drums & Ian Barber on bass, provide a powerful energy too, enthusiastic yet cool. A truly Mancunian vibe is created tonight, and one that is a resounding success. 

ARGH KiD is definitely an act that I want to catch again, and with dates coming up @ Blackthorn music festival & Kendall Calling, you should too.

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