- My Nu Leng
- Rich Furness
Grime is on the ascent once more: Skepta is rolling with Yeezy, the Boxed crew are critical darlings, and Dizzee Rascal has finally stopped making pop music. It’s moving back to the dank warehouses where it’s best suited to and has stopped aping American rap music quite so much. It’s dance music again. So what better time for KANO to return to the arena that made him: the club night.
The most awkward part of any night out is that indeterminate period as you walk in and the music is loud but no one knows whether or not it’s acceptable to dance yet. It takes a certain kind of DJ to make you forget it’s only eleven, make you forget you are one of about 25 people in a cavernous, dark room and actually get feet moving. Liverpool stalwart RICH FURNESS is one of those people, dropping tune after tune (Ghetto Kyote being a particular crowd-pleaser), easing a hesitant crowd into the dance.
Following up one of the best sets at last year’s Baltic Block Party was never going to be an easy task, but certified dons MY NU LENG take it in their stride, shape-shifting according to the crowd’s whims. Their sound may be indescribable (a bit house, a little garage and more than a touch of grime) but the constant throbbing bass holds everything together, even as they swerve from Flava D’s In The Dance to stone-cold Dizzee classic Stop Dat. One point that must be made is the awkward pacing of the set interrupted the otherwise top-dollar vibes: swerving from 2-stepping garage to shuffling deep(ish) house and back again doesn’t make sense when the crowd are clearly not there for anything other than full-pelt tunes. All is forgiven, however, when they finally bring out the big guns: their own production for Newham Generals (Levels) and their own certified banger, Masterplan, finally getting things whipped up for the evening’s main event.
Considering it’s been an entire decade since he last played a club show, the musical landscape could not be riper for Kano’s return. His set may be short and sweet, but within about half an hour he squeezes in classics like Ps And Qs as well as new heavy hitter New Banger and starts a mosh pit as heavy as anything a hardcore gig could provide. In fact, it gets so rowdy there is genuine concern that the barriers could collapse and the sound system get damaged. So of course everyone gets wilder – what else would you expect from music so staunchly anti-authoritarian? Alas, it’s all over so quickly that when our headliner walks off stage (after a second rendition of New Banger) everyone is left wondering what to do. The answer is obvious: hit the after party. No one could go home readily after a night like that.