God Knows + mynameisjOhn at the Workmans Club, Dublin, 7th December 2014

2014 has been fairly kind to God Knows + mynameisjOhn – the Limerick based hip/hop outfit.

First off they’ve released one of the best Irish albums of the year with their debut offering, ‘Rusangano/Family’, they’ve supported Snoop Dogg in the Academy and they’ve put in a host of impressive festival appearances.

Then factor in their forthcoming support slot to Run The Jewels at the Opium Rooms and this weekend’s appearance at Other Voices and it could be argued that only Hozier has enjoyed a better year in the realm of Irish music. Last Sunday saw yet another notch in their belts with an excellent performance at the Workman’s Club.

Before God Knows + mynameisjOhn hit the stage we are treated to a support slot from Nanu Nanu – another Irish act that are tipped for big things in 2015. Despite receiving a lot of positive press in recent times the duo take the stage in front of an almost deserted venue. Not that this phases them in the slightest though. A highly eccentric set shows that their recent hype is justified. Their brand of electro pop should certainly ensure they are a mainstay of the festival circuit next summer with the brilliant Pockets of Gold a particular highlight.

A lengthy interval between the support act and headliners allows for the Workman’s to reach almost half capacity by the time the hip hop collective hit the stage. Once their set begins the somewhat disappointing turnout is instantly forgotten.

In fact, the word “begins” doesn’t do the start of this set justice. “Explodes” is a more apt description, as from the off this gig is all about energy. It’s one of the liveliest shows the Workman’s has seen or is likely to see for a long time. It actually seems like a competition at times between God Knows and Murli – the emcees who make up two thirds of this group – as to who can rap the fastest, who can dance the fastest, who can spend the most time off stage in amongst the crowd.

If it is a competition it is a very entertaining one.

While the onstage (and more than occasionally offstage antics) of God Knows and Murli are entertaining, it’s their music that’s the most impressive element of the night. Raise The BarSerious and Twentyfourseven are just three highlights. On each God Knows and Murli deliver speeded up grimey verse over DJ mynameisjOhn’s excellent, slick production. It all translates very well into a live setting.

As this show is brought to a close it feels fitting the trio are joined on stage by a sizable proportion of the crowd. After all God Knows and Murli had spent a significant proportion of the gig offstage in amongst the crowd, so this seems only right. More than that though, the stage invasion felt fitting as this gig was a celebration. A celebration of what this act have achieved in 2014 and what they’ll no doubt achieve in 2015.