FabricLive – That Day That Benga Made

It’s one of London’s most talked about night spots – the infamous Fabric. A Warehouse full of 24 hour party people traipsing between its many rooms and none too glamorous cement ‘outdoor’ area. It’s Friday night (and I feel all right) and I’m quivering in the cold whilst burly bouncer man handles me into the club. The pulsating sounds of Seb Chew on the decks are resonating around the buzzing foyer – hurry up and let me in my good man!

Hand stamped and coat put away I hot foot it to the main room to get my skank on. It’s the 14th January and this is FabricLive, with a scorching line up and a heaving crowd on the dance floor. It’s one of those nights where you can stand perfectly still in the crowd and yet be juggled rhythmically all night like a puppet by the relentless swarm of eager clubbers.

Room Two is playing host to some blood pumping drum and bass DJs, headlined by the ever energetic styling’s of Andy C. Room Three has an altogether different mix, with some dirty garage sounds and electronica beats from the likes of Horsepower Productions and Seiji. The room to be in, however, is Room One, groaning with sweaty dubstep heads swaying to the beat like a pumped up tribe.

Scratch Perverts play a legendary set, beats searing through the air and piercing eardrums across the room. Despite the somewhat sticky floor (pretty pleased with myself that I decided not to wear my new Adidas Metro’s) I find my feet practically river dancing to the vehement rhythms colliding around the club. And to think, this is just the practice run for the man himself!

Then things get interesting. The crowd turn to the stage, peering into the lights like a pack of Bush baby’s anxiously awaiting their leader. Benga climbs onto the podium and politely shakes the hands of Scratch Perverts as they finish off their set. A somewhat unimposing figure, bar the big hair, he rolls up his sleeves and pours himself onto the turntables in front of him.

A steady, tribal beat ensues. People all around me start to move in time to the sound. Newcomer Youngman enters and spits some ‘crowd stirring’ one liners down the microphone – alright mate, can we just get on with it please? We’re not on an 18-30’s!

The music stops – cue confused facial expressions and panicked looks.

Grinning to the swarm of perplexed party-goers, Youngman declares “The ego… has Landed!”, lining up an appropriately potent drop of ‘Anthemic’ that paves the way for an ensuing merciless onslaught of carefully crafted dubstep sounds. Benga is like a wild man, gone is the placid man who first came out of the woodwork of the cavernous nightclub. In his place stands a ball of energy, throwing out tunes from all the daddies of dub – Skream, Joker, Magnetic Man all get a look in amongst his own spot-hitting tracks. This is the ever growing dub step scene – sit up and take notice.

Three rooms, nineteen acts and one happy (albeit slightly bruised and sore footed) camper. Can I do it again please?

– This article was originally written by Folly for www.mobo.com where you can check out all the latest in urban music news. 


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