Spring has sprung and for the past few weeks, there has been a real and genuine feeling that the world has woken up. It started at March’s Forward>> which everyone seemed to enjoy and continued with DMZ, Root’s Manuva, the Inperspective Allnighter, right through to this Easter weekend which launched with Metalheadz on Friday. It was my first visit to Metalheadz at Herbal and despite reports that it wasn’t as good as usual, I had a pretty good time. The vibes were nice as was the company (big up Skopes, SE25 crew, Chris Inp, Ciara, Breakage, Equinox, Senses, Forrester) and the music pretty good. Marly Marl was a disappointment after what was a wicked Spirit set; unfortunately there’s something about very fast DnB that turns me into a bit of a grumpy old lady.
Flight alongside Phats were good but quite a mad contrast in sound and vibes after Marly Marl. That said, seeing Singing Fats live was a wicked experience and something that I’ve wanted to see for ages. He really is about as liquid chocolate as they get and as cheesy as he is, I’d defy anyone to say he doesn’t melt the soul.
Saturday I hit the Black Sheep Bar for some Jazz, Hip-Hop, Funk, Rock, Latin, fuck it, I don’t know what it is from a new band called Size 9. Unfortunately I missed the gig by the skin of my teeth, despite promising their manager that I would take some photos (sorry Dave!!). I have however been listening to their EP which with it’s slightly etheral vocals from a young lady called Breezy has sounded perfect against the sunny days of late. So watch out for Size 9, who I will be photographing very soon (I promise) and who I feel have got more than enough sunshine and energy to transport them out of bars and into big venues.
Sunday with familiarity I was back at the Sheep to experience another Spectrum to remember in what truly is Croydon’s only venue away from the monster that is RnB. It was indeed another wicked one, with residents, Mek, Skope, Logik, Krystal, Mako and of course the one and only MC Sgt Pokes (we salute you sar!), alongside the mighty Randall. Randall was a bit inconsistent with the vibes, playing a lot of boing-boing which the very heady crowd seemed to like and then hitting with some heavy weight Dilly stuff from a few years back. Skopes and the Sarg’ (the real reason the place was packed) were on point as usual, with Skopes mixing it up the likes of Breakage’s beautiful So Mars/So Vain before hitting the crowd with some really ‘heavy shit’ which he reports he questioned for a second before deciding ‘yeah, fuck it.’ Immediate therapy after Skopey’s set came in the form of DJ Krystal. Louis Krystal’s been part of the Spectrum family for some time now, but this was by far the best set he’d ever played, mixing up Amen classics, with Roni Size and the Halo theme tune which appeared to have a more astounding effect on the blokes on the dancefloor than any Amen choppin’ track could ever have. Believe me, I’ve got the pics as proof.
On a dub tip, I’ve been listening to Joe Nice’s mix a lot. Really enjoying the new Skreamz and Loefah stuff, particularly 808 Love/808 Bass/’I’ (it’s getting called all sorts of things) and Monsoon Remix which has been sounding good this time of year and at the same time been taking me back to the Spring of last year when I first heard the original. I remember thinking that the compilation that it featured on ‘Dubstep Allstars’ was one of the most beautiful and different things I’d ever heard and couldn’t possibly imagine that tracks such as Monsoon and the incredible Highland Spring had come out of dusty ol’ Croydon. A year later, there’s no way I will ever doubt the musical might of the place again.