Pushing through the curtains that divided the bar area from the venue itself, Mr Thing‘s funky breaks got the heads nodding immediately spinning classics from the 80s and 90s before delving into the more moden tunes like Skibadee’s brilliant Tika Toc, Skinnyman’s I’ll Be Surprised and Jehst’s People Under The Weather. The UK DJ did a fine job of getting the increasingly large crowd in that feel good mood and took the rightfully rowdy applause that came his way.
Then it was time for the legendary Z-Trip to take the stage for his first performance in London for some time. The crowd were amped, the DJ was set and everything was ready to kick off, which is just what happened when Justice boomed out as the mash-ups began seeing Nas rapping over the French duo’s beat. From there the Arizona native took us from Dizzee through Teen Spirit [the first of a number of raucous crowd bundles] and Michael Jackson with Rage Against The Macine under him.
From underground hip hop’s masters such as Brother Ali to heavyweights like Gorillaz, Beastie Boys, Public Enemy and James Brown, Z-Trip brought heavy hitter after heavy hitter even scratching over some Metallica to get the crowd going wild. There was no let up in the set as he brought out Johnny Cash’s Ring Of Fire and mixed in Kanye West’s Daft Punk sample as if it was the most natural partnership on earth.
As if getting the venue to sing along to Journey wasn’t brilliant enough, he then got a veritable karaoke going with Pink Floyd and Depeche Mode following in quick succession, finally reverting back to the beats with Simon Says‘ vocals over the guaranteed winner Witness. The atmosphere was at boiling point with the London crowd getting into every song, but the mercury broke the thermometre when he dropped Benga’s 26 Basslines, treating us to a short dubstep set [including, inexplicably, Guns & Roses with a dubstep beat].
The night ended with a stage dive-ridden performance of Rage Against The Machine’s Killing In The Name and his scratched version of Blackalicious’ Alphabet Aerobics. Earlier in the set he’d said that when he came back to London, he’d be playing Fabric and other such bigger venues, but “right here, right now, this is the raw shit”. And didn’t we all know it. Brilliant.
Photo by Premise