Live Review: Naughty By Nature, Provokal

16 November 2015 | 1:43 pm | Paul Mulkearns

"Going through their collection of tunes is pretty enjoyable, although they rely on audience participation a bit much."

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Eighties kids are out in droves to see Naughty By Nature tonight.

Warm-up DJ Provokal plays some pretty cheesy R&B while the audience is milling about, with tunes from the likes of Boyz II Men and Shaggy. However, once it gets close to kick-off time, he amps things up and does exactly what a warm-up DJ should do. Fatman Scoop has the crowd cheering and jumping, and Provokal keeps it going through Eminem, that Dizzee Rascal & Calvin Harris joint, as well as more Shaggy. What really makes the crowd lose their shit though is the absolute stomper, Pharoahe Monche’s Simon Says.

The hype doesn't stop there, with '90s hip hop legends Naughty By Nature hyping the crowd up for a good ten minutes before stepping on stage. They start the proceedings with some banter before dropping a mini-mix of '90s hip hop including KRS-One’s Sound Of Da Police; it really is just a quick taste of '90s classics, and then they jump right into their most popular tune, OPP. It isn’t so noticeable during this, probably because the crowd is so loud, but there seems to be an issue with the microphones, with the band asking to turn them up. Once it finishes, it seems a chunk of people only came to see that one song and leave, opening up the floor a bit.

Another mini-mix of tunes with DMX’s Party Up (Up In Here), House Of Pain’s Jump Around and surprisingly Men At Work’s Down Under. This kind of felt like pandering, especially considering there was an "Aussie Aussie Aussie, oi oi oi" at the end.

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Going through their collection of tunes is pretty enjoyable, although they rely on audience participation a bit much for this reviewer's liking. Tunes like Ghetto Bastard and Holiday get a playing, and littered throughout their tunes are more mini-mixes from the likes of Cyprus Hill, The Notorious BIG and even Tupac, doing a tribute to the late All Eyez On Me scribe that involves copious amounts of Hennessy. They also take some of the crowd up on stage when they play Hip Hop Hooray.

The '90s were a so-called golden era of hip hop and it is no wonder why; with tunes like these guys have, nobody can deny the quality. While the sound may have let them down a bit, they really emphasise the diversity of sounds that were coming out during the '90s. They are possibly underselling themselves a bit by playing so much of other people’s music within their set — but that's not enough to stop it from being a great event.