Live at Warehouse on Saturday, 5th May 2001
The Warehouse may be out on a limb, up there near the ring road, but if this is a precedent for future Friday nights - then it'll be worth every step. Funky Mule promises "the best in uncut hip-hop, sexy r'n'b, twisted funk, drum and bass and booty shakin' reggae," but tonight there is a distinct hip-hop flava to the proceedings.
The perfect venue for hip-hop, the stage allows for the live acts, essential, in my opinion to a hip-hop night. A roomy dancefloor for those of us who like to get our groove on!
The Homecut Directive live experience is never a disappointment. The 7 piece have proved their ability to excite a crowd over the past few years with their appearances in Leeds and beyond. What's special tonight is that there are so many people to see that. Testament, their MC, has moved it up a gear accordingly and hurls the lyrics at the crowd, in a set which, if anything, went too quickly. To be honest, the thing that really turned heads was the sublime guest vocals of Corinne Bailey (from Leeds band Helen) on "Come the Revolution". An incredible song with a hook to die for, it echoes the soft protest of Tracy Chapman and the wisdom and vitriol of Gill-Scott Heron. Needless to say, the crowd loved it.
Mark B & Blade follow an excellent DJ set with one message - UK hip-hop is happening. Blade charms the crowd and even attempts a bit of stage-diving in between rapping and is joined by the talented MC Lex who graced us with his rhymes but luckily not any stage diving (the guy's nearly 7ft tall!). And if they didn't think we were moving enough, telling us that the audience at Coventry were better sorted that out - I mean Coventry. C'mon! Of course, their top-ten hit "The Unknown" goes down a storm once they've built up an atmosphere where everyone in the club is moving and Mark B keeps the beats tight throughout. They finish with the Feeder remix of "Ya Don't See the Signs", which despite not being everyone's favourite version of the song seriously kicks off; half the crowd are on stage, and when they leave the dancing doesn't stop.
Overall a fantastic launch night in a refreshingly unpretentious club. Top quality DJs, along with a great live bill and a laid back atmosphere. Check it out!