Live Review: Hector Bizerk


Glaswegian masters of alternative hip-hop Hector Bizerk took Oran Mor by storm on Friday night.  In the course of their relatively short career, the band – originally a duo – have gathered an extensive and enthusiastic fan base, and the atmosphere in the packed crowd is explosive before they even appear on stage, with chants of “Hector! Hector! Hector Bizerk!” rebounding off the walls.

 Hector Bizerk offer a live experience that goes beyond the music, and for this reason they more than live up to their unofficial title of best live band in the country.  Between street art draped around the venue and cut-outs of the band’s iconic logo, we are instantly immersed in Hector Bizerk’s expressive world of anti-authoritarianism and edgy political ultimatums.

The band open with explosive crowd favourite ‘Party in A&E’.  Emcee Louie is a riveting presence on stage, dropping politically charged and cleverly woven verses in broad and unapologetic Glaswegian.  The band are joined onstage by a brass section for tracks like ‘Welcome to Nowhere’, which adds texture and variety to the sound, while live art from Pearl Kinnear on perspex glass at the back of the stage and break dancing from Ibby Dikko ensure that this is a live performance like no other.

The gig launches HB’s new EP The Tree That Never Grew, already enjoying critical acclaim with a 9.5/10 rating from Tenement TV.  Collaborator Marc Rooney makes an appearance for brand-new track ‘They Made a Porno on a Mobile Phone and Everybody Laughed’, and then Be Charlotte comes on for ‘Empty Jackets’, a catchy and provocative mockery of exploitative London producers that allows Louie to show off his versatility as a rapper.  It’s obvious that everyone on stage is having a whale of a time, and this really gives the sense that Hector Bizerk and their friends are an open and inclusive bunch, exactly the kind of folk you’d want to party with.  Overall the atmosphere is exhilarating and uplifting, and no one can deny that this was a gig to remember.

[Cat Acheson]   

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