DNBBQ feat. DJ Marky @ Manning Bar, Sydney (26/04/08)
Tue 29th Apr, 2008 Event Reviewsin
I’ll come clean before I go any further. As a vegetarian since U Can’t Touch This was riding high in the charts, it’s fair to say I approached the DNBBQ with absolute certainty that huge piles of sizzling meat and heavy tunes could not possibly mix well together. I am, of course, tempted at this point to segue into a bit about the super dope homeboy from Oak Town, but there are more important things to speak of.
Starting with the venue. The thing about Manning Bar is this. If you’re a student it’s probably very well located. If you’re not it’s a strange place to have to go. For one thing there’s nothing else about, which means once you’re there you’re there for good, no popping out for coffee or drinks or food. But here’s the clever part – they put so much on, in all these rooms, with all the entertainment and a huge balcony, sofas and the rest that you don’t need to go anywhere else!
And then there’s the Suberb room. Which is a room, no more, no less, featuring dubstep, breaks, ragga, reggae and hip-hop and playing to on average, 5 people it seemed. Four speakers on stands, a cavernous roof with timber crossbeams and a lovely view over some playing fields. Whilst it doubled the entertainment in numbers, it did little to draw the crowd from the main dancefloor or, more to the point, from the balcony, which was without end packed to the rafters by smokers, chillers and those engaged in the meat-orgy.
I turned up to hear B. Hopps and Samson getting things going, the former a DJ playing hot to trot DnB, the latter a trombonist playing accompaniment and making every tune sound a little bit the same in that way such a jazzy touch can. Over in the other room, Western Synthetics laid down some seriously laid back numbers with an almost soporific effect on one or two of the more… err… happy punters. Next up in the main room Alf vs Ritual and they were joined on stage by the waggish MC Nite and, a relative newcomer to these parts, J.P., a UK lyric wrangler who’s keen on giving the people what they want and getting the party started. Having often and long complained about the lack of decent MCs in Sydney, you can imagine my pleasant surprise at having two on stage, at the same time, who were both excellent but, more to the point combined so well, even to the point of becoming wiggle-dance chums.
The tunage splayed out, as it should on a night like this, but the entertainment was at the front of the stage, giving you that extra tang of relish on your spicy chorizo. With tight licks and tighter mixing, these Rollers brought it hard and fast, giving up the stage for the inimicable live-ish cacophony of Kobra Kai.
With 2 MCs, a lady singer/MC, drummer, bassist and the obligatory man-on-laptop these guys play a mix up of breaks, drum n’ bass and broken beats, fusing live and recorded, speed and grime. I may have been the only one in the crowd thinking she sounded quite a lot like the Lady Sirus, but I can’t have been the only one wandering why on any DnB night anywhere, there always seems to be one girl who’s turned up really, really keen to dance but inexplicably decided to wear a tube top which won’t stay up without constant finessing. Anyhow, following on from Alf & Ritual these guys raised the energy levels again with their non-stop enthusiasm and boundless, genre spanning unpredictability, my personal highlight the souped-up, super deluxe The Way. I could never be lonely.
Now, this whole hullabaloo kicked off at 6pm (dinnertime) and DJ Marky hit the decks at midnight so there was quite a lot of people that had been there quite a long time but no matter, the protein had been processed, the gristle wrestled down, even the meat-pie vending machine had seen a fair chunk of action. The stage was set then for the Brazilian Maestro to come out all guns blazin’ with cohort Stamina MC. The crowd went wild, dancefloor space became a premium commodity with shoulder barging bartering old-skool style. Straight off you could tell he’d read the crowd perfectly. Heavy on the bass, heavy on the intensity, broken up with staccato lyrics and the admirable efforts of Stamina who brought the quick and the slow, interspersed it with the jump up and Master of Ceremony duties and, of course, when he dropped that So Tinha Que… tune things really went off, although my favourite moment was when Stamina started rapping the Shake You Body lyrics over the top of some darkness.
As is (seemingly) de rigueur these days we had the break for music-that-isn’t-DnB-but-which-we-know-will-make-you-dance with a bit of The 900 Number, Stamina kicking in with the DJ Kool role. Pretty exciting stuff. It all got a bit messy as 2am approached, arms flailing, no respite, my legs, arms head biff-boffing all over the place like a rag doll until I was spent up, used, exhausted, time for home. At which point I was feeling a little peckish.
All in all then, begrudgingly, I suppose DnB and BBQ to be a pretty good mix; lots of lean carnivores having a good time and for the sake of this night only how about DnChurrascaria? Make sure you catch this guy – he’s hot!