By 5 past 10 in Exeter we have finished playing a modest show to a modest audience. The van is loaded and we are ready to depart, but the parting is far from us yet.
After our show there is a live hip-hop performance and it is slowly forming around us. The whole night has unraveled with an odd pace and has left us slightly deflated. To remedy our sunken spirits Phil ‘Owley suggests a last drink and we readily agree. The audience filters out and filters in and we find ourselves amongst a new generation. Saggy denim, languid smiles and nubile breasts fleet past and exhaust my lust and confusion all in one unexpected blow.
The MCs are on stage now and they spit ferociously and cause these young, magnificent creatures to grind their firm bodies through the silty air as if Dionysus himself was present. We take it in turns to go and stand in the pit and experience the vim – one of us must stay above ground at all times to slacken or tighten the rope when necessary. Back at the table whilst complaining that we can’t hear the words Nathan’s face becomes sullen as he looks at his beer and lets out an exasperated snigger. “Are you ok Nathan?” Gus asks. “I’ll let you be the judge of that fool.” He says with venom we’ve never seen in him before. With that he jumps up pushing the chair to the floor throwing a dagger look to the stage. As he walks toward the stage he lets slip his belt a notch so his trousers fall a little and hang steadily in accordance with the parlance of the room. He twists his cap 20 degrees to the right and adopts a kinked left knee in his gait.
Arriving at the stage and making eye contact with one of the MC’s he taps three fingers to his chest twice and asserts them loftily into the air. The mc reaches down and hoists Nathan up onto the stage. He grabs a spare mic. “Yo yo – let’s raise this motherfucka!” With this gallant cry Nathan grabs his trousers by the balls and begins an onslaught of the lurid vernacular. A stream of verbs, nouns and adjectives fly forth from his lips as he sways in time to the rhythm of his inflections. Two girls leap onto the stage and flank him, grinding furiously up and down his torso, one straddling him by the thigh and the other using the force of her buttocks to express her satisfaction with his rhymes.
The rest of the crowd is in uproar, wild undulating cries and ecstasy. The beats get louder and faster, intense and flawless as Nathan gets fiercer, predatory in his instinct for the English language. As he leaves the stage he is grabbed and swayed by outstretched hands adorning, desperate to touch the vessel that contains the mighty flow.
We finish our drinks and set out for the hotel. Renewed by the vigor. Satisfied with content. Cooled by the sagacious night stream…