It has been a whole two months since the last Pitched Up event in the basement of Birthdays in Dalston. With event organisers 1Xtra’s DJ Target and grime legend Danny Weed having additional time to arrange a blockbuster line up for the usually monthly event, they did not let the side down!
The evening started with a buzzing DJ set from the Tinie Tempah championed All About She which enticed the crowd onto the dancefloor as soon as they walked through the entrance and set the tone for what was to be one of those nights where every track was something to dance to.
Melissa Steel followed with an accomplished and passionate performance of both her single ‘Kisses’, which features dancehall artist Popcaan and ‘Way We Are’, a track by Kove which features Steel on vocals and was premiered by Radio 1’s Annie Mac earlier this year.
By the time Melissa Steel had finished her brief set, the dancefloor in the basement was swelling and the crowd were eagerly anticipating the headline acts. The first on the decks was producer and DJ supremo Toddla T. Having worked with the likes of Roots Manuva, Skream and Jammer, the crowd were given a full insight into why Toddla T has received so much respect from so many artists. With his set featuring a wide ranging mix of genres and artists from Ninja Man to A$AP Ferg, the clearly skilled DJ and man who knows his music inside out dropped tune after tune to the evident delight of the jubilant crowd and he even found time to throw in some dublates for good measure.
But it was the arrival of UK urban music royalty that really worked the crowd into a dance frenzy as garage legends and So Solid Crew members Oxide and Neutrino rewound the clock back to the early noughties with a huge set of classic garage anthems alongside some of their own hits including ‘Bound 4 Da Reload (Casualty)’ and ‘No Good 4 Me’. With Oxide controlling the decks, Neutrino hyped up the ‘sing along crew’ and accompanied tracks with his trademark mastery of the mic which showed exactly why these guys accomplished four top 10 singles between 2000 & 2002. Anyone who was ‘all about garage’ in its commercial heyday would have been very pleased as their genre spanning set brought back memories of listening to the latest Pure Garage album before grime had even been officially founded. Oxide did however pay homage to the crossover between garage and grime by playing More Fire Crew’s ‘Oi’, which saw Lethal Bizzle make his debut as an 18 year old in 2002 and many of the current grime MCs (not naming any names) who were in attendance could be seen reciting the bars and enjoying the solid and energetic set.
For an event to maintain road block status every month and play host to relevant and in demand artists is no mean feat but DJ Target and Danny Weed have so far secured the likes of Meridian Dan, Show N Prove and Ghetts, to mention a few and it doesn’t seem to be stopping there. The basement venue fits perfectly with the atmosphere and ambience that Pitched Up is seeking to create and with so many events being cancelled and moved these days it is a credit to everyone involved in putting the event on that it is always such a success. Roll on the next one!
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