School of Shaolin at Gorilla: Review

If you're unaware of the loyal following Wu-Tang Clan have in the UK, firstly have you been asleep for 20 years and secondly, why haven't you listened to them either?

Unfortunately, I can’t urge you to watch School of Shaolin as it was an exclusive documentary with the only two screenings in the country in London and Manchester, not largely in part because of Wu-Tang’s rapturous reception on their 20 year anniversary tour at The Ritz followed by an impromptu after gig at Gorilla.

Also not least due to how much RZA, Raekwon, GZA and Method Man love grotty venues in Manchester which you find out in the documentary, playing tiny little gigs at Antwerp Mansion or getting chucked out of a Roots Manuva set in Mint Lounge.

The documentary itself follows the group through the eyes of several Wu-Tang enthusiasts (to say the least) and whilst a sad depiction of life growing up in the ends of Brixton can be effortlessly compared to a Staten Island upbringing (if you can call it that) which Wu rap about, there’s also moments of pure joy when you see these British lads bursting at the seams with their adoration for these ten guys that changed their lives.

One of the narrators, a young Geordie man, has you in the palm of his hand with his effervescent recounting of how he started listening to Wu-Tang and how from that day on, he’s listened to them every single day whilst also hearing another of their songs in his head in the process.

All of the narrators have one thing in common: Wu-Tang Clan have given them a purpose and rule by which to live their lives. Music-related lives, but lives with a similar beginning that in a way (either physically or mentally) were saved by the genius and innovative sound of the group.

It’s highly recommended viewing for any Wu-Tang enthusiast, so keep a keen eye out for any future releases, screenings or dodgy blokes selling DVD’s in the pub.

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