Support comes from Gallows, the rockers from Watford who famously got a million quid record deal with Warner Brothers only to be dropped in 2009. Not sure why, as they seem to have a decent fan base and sell lots of records but that’s the music biz for you. I’m not a huge fan but they make a decent racket, all the songs are fast, loud and energetic. They finish with a version of “I fought the law” which gets people singing along even though it’s a patchy version.

And so to Cypress Hill. Even though they’ve still been touring in the States these last few years, this is their first time over here for a while and they’ve got a new album “Rise Up”, their first since 2004. There’s no DJ Muggs on stage though, instead DJ Hitman Julio G is rocking the now standard turntable/laptop combo. Sen Don and B Real bound onto the stage to huge cheers from the sold out crowd and it’s like they’ve never been away. They’ve come back with a solid album that follows their usual blueprint of dope smoking tales and gang life but it’s their classics that people have come to hear and they don’t disappoint.

“Insane in the membrane” is still a banger sure to set any party off and tonight is no exception. The nihilistic “How I could just kill a man” has lost none of its menace and B Real spits the lyrics like he’s still living that life on the streets rather than being a platinum selling rap star :). There’s also their obligatory “spliff medley” and B Real lights one up as they go through “I want to get high”, “Stoned is the way of the walk”, “Hits from the bong” and “Dr. Greenthumb”. Its enough to give you the munchies.

They then let DJ Julio G and long time percussionist Eric Bobo (son of famous Afro-Jazz percussionist Willie Bobo) face off to showcase their skills. Eric plays a conga pattern which Julio G then effortlessly imitates. It’s a nice interchange between the two and it’s great to hear them using “Al-Naafiysh”, the hip hop classic by Hashim.

Cypress Hill then do a rousing version of “Throw your set in the air” and “Cock the hammer” and that’s the 75 minute set finished. They encore with “Ain’t going out like that” and “Rise up”, the title track off their new album produced by Tom Morello who also plays guitar on the album version. It’s a good gig by veterans in the game and it’s good to see them back over in the UK.


Gallows version of “Staring at the rude boys” featuring Lethal Bizzle

Current single “Rise Up” with Tom Morello on guitar and John Dolmayan from System of a Down on drums: