Event Review: Fingerlickin' All Nighter - London
Thursday, 10 June 2004
Saturday 5th June 2004 10PM-6AM @THE CORONET, 28 NEW KENT RD, LONDON
Featuring all the Finger Lickin' artists under one roof! SOUL OF MAN * PLUMP DJ'S * LEE COOMBS * SLYDE * DRUMATTIC TWINS * STEREO 8 * BROTHERS BUD *
PLUS.... A.SKILLZ & KRAFTY KUTS LIVE
With special guests
KURTIS BLOW * ASHLEY 'FREAKPOWER' SLATER * REAL ELEMENTS DREADZONE SOUNDSYSTEM * SHADES OF RHYTHM
When my most treasured breakbeat label, Finger Lickin' Records, advertised their 5 year birthday celebrations as 'an unprecedented line-up of Finger Lickin' Allstars' with 'Lasers, Outrageous Decor & Projections - No Expense Spared' in a 'staggering 2,000 capacity central London venue' I knew I was in for a treat!
Having made the move to London from Surfers Paradise there was no way that I was going to miss the Finger Lickin' Allnighter anyway, but it was going to be extremely hard to surpass the genuine loyalty and, dare I say it, affection that I already felt toward this phenomenally inspiring label.
Making the short trip from the Elephant & Castle tube station to the Coronet, I indulged in the memories of those first few glorious pieces of Finger Lickin' vinyl I stumbled upon all those years ago. Walking into the venue it became startlingly apparent that those precious few moments of relative obscurity were now nothing more than a vague whiff of a distant memory. The Coronet, an aging theatre, was breathtakingly attired in all the flamboyance of an elegant princess, and relentless streams of beat hungry punters were being helplessly magnetized toward the first few thumps of that classic Finger Lickin' funk sound. It promptly dawned on me that when Finger Lickin' made a public declaration that all the potential profits were being reinvested in a positive audio & visual extravaganza; they really weren't just blowing smoke!
I barely caught the tail end of the Drumattic Twins set: a tasteful blend of some of their well known songs with more subtle broken flavours; before heading upstairs to take in the many levels of the venue. Above the main arena was a second bar, dedicated primarily to nu-skool breaks, and above that a smaller chill out area playing more down tempo funk stuff. I headed back to the main arena where the largest chunk of action appeared to be gestating, and was thoroughly rewarded...
I had gone to the gig on my own (it seems my London cohorts just aren't as obsessed with breakbeat as I am...go figure!-!-) so I was startled to hear a distinctly Australian voice from somewhere near the front of the stage piping up "Aren't you DJ Cookiegirl-" Turns out this guy was from the Gold Coast and had enjoyed my sets at 'Elsewhere', the residency I had held for the last 6 months in Surfer's Paradise. Classic! Not only was this looking to be the best night out I'd had in London yet, but I'd found a friend.
The main arena started really cooking up as Dreadzone Soundsystem took to the stage and hit a beautiful note with their playful blend of reggae, dub, hip hop, and old skool style breaks. Then came the undisputed highlight of the night...surprise surprise... Krafty Kuts and A.Skills. I'm sorry but these guys can do no wrong! A masterful mix of frenzy inducing classics from the likes of Cypress Hill & House of Pain to what have come to be contemporary party hip hop classics in their own right...their own 'Tricka Technology', selections from the 'Insane Bangers EP' & Tricka Technology LP and brilliantly, their bass heavy remix of 'Gimme the Breaks'; which culminated in Kurtis Blow appearing, amidst a deafening roar of appreciation, and inviting the entire audience to join him onstage for a rendition of the Bob Marley classic 'Could You Be Loved'.
Call me a dreamer, but with the audience singing along with such heartfelt passion and the fact the bouncers looked positively superfluous despite the 2000+ turnout, I was suddenly swept up in the ideal that moments like this could Tags