This was actually the first time I had experienced Dirty Canvas. I did not have any idea of what to expect. This was also the first time I had experienced the ICA, once again I had no idea of what to expect.
The whitewashed walls smacked of art deco, the crowd was built to match, some hood, some posh, some normal, some dressed extravagantly. As long as we get more mainstream media and keep drawing crowds with a mix like that the scene can get more diverse. Perfect example was the “advertorial” which ran last week in the Evening Standard promoting this event.
The music was perfect, the skills of Madame Collins on the decks brought us a warm up, a bit of bashment, a bit of US a bit of grime. DJ Magic hit the set hard with the Renegade boys. One of my favourite moments was hearing Renegade tear down pulse X. they controlled the set perfectly showing a lot of maturity and good public relations. Watch out for these guys this year, project are forthcoming on the NuVibes label. The Plastician switched the game up by throwing down an old school garage set, pure genius, the vibes set the tone for the next segment.
As it was Ruff Sqwads mixtape launch (go out and buy "Guns and Roses II") and boy better know were appearing everyone was waiting for these crews to arrive. The crowd got a surprise in the shape of Jammer who jumped on the set with Boy Better Know. The crowd’s response was amazing, not just for Jammer but for the rest of Boy better Know. Wiley was a no show, but he whereabouts were accounted for.
I didn’t manage to catch much of Ruff Sqwad but got a smacking interview with JME while they were on set. Watch out for that footage so to be released on the myspace and blog. Forthcoming DVD project will have more exclusives like that on it.
The vibe was on a family tip, networking was going on like crazy, and this is the place to be without a doubt. London’s situation with grime-based events leaves a bit to be desired but when Dirty Canvas becomes established in the mainstream then it will solidify Grime as a viable format for the masses.
Note to venue, please please sort the air con for next time…