• Mass Dosage's top gigs of 2012

    1. Jan. 2013, 19:00

    So, a quick look back at the top gigs of last year - I managed to get to 28 gigs which was pretty good going. Looking back over the list there were more disappointments than in years before (I'm looking you Aphex Twin and Afrika Bambaata) but still more than enough good nights out to justify a post. Here we go... (All venues are in London, UK)

    A Winged Victory for the Sullen @ Cecil Sharp House
    Monday 16 January 2012
    The year started off on a supremely chilled note with this as the first gig I went to. The venue was small and intimate and the ambient sounds of the sullen ones were well appreciated. Being seated it was very much a "sit back and listen" evening which was perfect, this isn't exactly dance music after all.

    Radioactive Man @ The ? Bar
    Saturday 31 March 2012
    Up next was something completely different at a small, sweaty, (literally) underground club in Stoke Newington. Radioactive Man did a great set dropping electro and breaks and getting a very enthusiastic crowd into some serious ass shaking. I had been out to two other parties during the day and evening but still found the energy to get down to the beats. Nice!

    System with Vivek and Mala @ The Dome
    Saturday 21 April 2012
    System is a regular dub step night that has moved around various venues in London. This installment was at a large grimy venue up North near Tufnell Park and featured the talented Mala from Digital Mystikz. The focus was purely on the music with no lighting or frills, just speakers set up in two massive stacks that were so loud that at one point tiles came tumbling off the ceiling onto the dance floor below! Tear the roof off!

    Kenny Dope @ East Village
    Friday 11 May 2012
    What better way to unwind after a long day at work than some seriously good DJ'ing provided by Masters at Work's Kenny Dope and the always on point DJs from the London Doctor's Orders crew? Some of Hip-Hop's greatest tracks spanning the last 4 decades were dropped along with some funk, soul and reggae. A truly wicked night out.

    Soundcrash warehouse party with Luke Vibert, 808 State and others @ Oval Space
    Saturday 2 June 2012
    Some serious dance music was very welcome after having being solidly rained on while cycling to the Oval space warehouse. A few hours of getting down to some old skool music dried everyone out and it felt about as close to the original early 90s Manchester scene as one can get in this day and age. Cycling home a bit before dawn with no more rain was a relief too ;)

    Erykah Badu @ The Hammersmith Apollo
    Wednesday 27 June 2012
    This was the second time I've been fortunate enough to see Erykah perform live. She has a wealth of older material to draw on but also dropped plenty of tracks from her more recent albums and a few gems off collaborations with other artists (Liberation really stood out for me). There were plenty of quirky interludes and modifications to tracks that made the live experience noticeably different and it was a pleasure to be there.

    Hospitality @ The Brixton Academy
    Friday 28 September 2012
    Hospital Records move their high energy night out around the UK and of course London features as a regular destination. With 3 dance floors playing Drum & Bass, , and and a host of DJs, artists, vocalists and other performers there was plenty to keep the punters amused. By 3am I was pretty much danced out, but the party looked like it was going to continue to the wee hours.

    MF DOOM and others @ The Kentish Town Forum
    Friday 12 October 2012
    I'm a huge MF DOOM fan but have been disappointed by both the previous times I saw him perform live with sub-par sound, an overly loud support MC and a bog standard live show that didn't stand out in any way from hundreds of other Hip-Hop gigs. So it was with a bit of reservation that I thought I'd go for "third time lucky" but fortunately it panned out as Doom seemed to be in a really good mood and had lots of energy. He pointed out he was dieting and had lost some weight, which is maybe why he didn't need his even fatter hype man this time. He ran through all the classics from Operation Doomsday to Take Me to Your Leader and Madvillainy and Born Like This. The night also featured loads of other performances, some of which were better than others. The biggest disappointment was Madlib who is great as a producer but live? Not so much.

    Herbie Hancock @ The Royal Festival Hall
    Monday 12 November 2012
    This year's London Jazz Festival featured a rare treat - Herbie Hancock performing solo. We were treated to some piano pieces and improvisations as well as a track that he built up from scratch using various sound tools and instruments that he had on stage before he finished off playing a few of his classics on a very cool keytar. The man has still got it.

    Flying Lotus @ The Troxy
    Friday 16 November 2012
    I've seen Flying Lotus perform about 4 times in the past but more than a year had gone by since the last time so I figured it was about time to see how his live show had evolved. There was a much bigger focus on the visual aspects of it with amazing computer generated animations being displayed on a screen behind him and a thin screen hanging in front of him which gave an incredible 3D effect. It took a while to get everything in synch and started but once on his way he delivered a superbly mixed set which went from lush chilled beats to frenetic stomping and back again a few times.

    Rodriguez @ The Royal Festival Hall
    Saturday 17 November 2012
    The world's much belated discovery of Rodriguez thanks to the success of the "Searching for Sugar Man" documentary saw him return to touring with sell out shows all over the world. Being South African I've known his music since I was a teenager and I've always appreciated it even though the style was far outside of what I usually listen to. I never managed to see him the times he came to South Africa so it was great to finally have the opportunity. He is visibly old and frail and had to be helped on and off stage by his daughter but he was sharp when dealing with the crowd and his singing and guitar playing were still good. We found the sugar and it tasted good.!
  • Mass Dosage's top gigs of 2011

    8. Jan. 2012, 19:00

    In 2011 I went to 16 gigs, the lowest number since I moved to London four years ago. Am I getting more picky or just not going out as much? I like to think the former as the overall standard of what I saw last year was pretty high. Then again, organising two weddings earlier in the year plus a honyemoon might have had something to do with it too. Here there the highlights. All venues are in London, UK.

    Black Star, De La Soul and Rakim @ The Hammersmith Apollo
    (Tuesday 10 May 2011)
    It took a while for a good gig to come along to kick the year off, but this was it. I arrived a bit late so only got to see Rakim's last track which was a shame as he's been billed many times of late but the gigs have all been cancelled. I've seen De La quite a few times in the past but they always put on a dope show and they didn't disappoint. Seeing Talib and Mos Def together on stage was a rare treat and they dropped classic Black Star numbers as well as loads of their solo joints, very nice.

    Amon Tobin @ The Roundhouse
    (Friday 17 June 2011)
    I hadn't planned go to this as I'd seen Amon a few times in the past and I'd enjoyed it, but I thought this would be more of the same. How wrong I was. The day of the gig started off with the land line phone ringing while I was having breakfast and a bizarre computer generated voice saying "are. you. going. to. Amon. Tobin. tonight?" Freaky. It turned out that a friend had sent a text to my land line instead of my mobile by mistake but it got me thinking. Then I got to work and people were talking about this amazing audio visual stage set up and I started desperately trawling around for spare tickets. Luckily I landed one and got to see what was without a doubt *the* gig of the year and one of the best gigs I have ever been to. The syncing of the sound with visuals projected onto an incredible stage design was some next level shit. The trailer below gives one an inkling (but just an inkling) of how amazing this was.

    Hugh Masekela, Vusi Mahlasela, Lira and Thandiswa @ Hackney Empire
    (Sunday 10 July 2011)
    This performance, which was a tribute to Miriam Makeba, brought together some of South Africa's established artists with some up and coming musicians and was a great combination of talents and sounds, new and old. We used a Vusi Mahlesela song for our wedding earlier in the year so seeing him live was a nice touch. Mama Afrika's music lives on.

    ATP I’ll Be Your Mirror curated by Portishead @ Alexandra Palace
    (Saturday 23 July 2011)
    I've avoided previous ATP festivals because, even though I really like the concept of having a band curate the sounds, films and other media, up until now they all been a bit too rocky and singer-songer dominated for my liking. Having Portishead curate a festival within walking distance of home was another matter entirely. We started off watching the Charles Morris Jazz Band perform outside in the Rose Garden which was very civilised. After this Black Roots dropped some reggae and then The Books were surprisingly good with some great supporting visuals. Company Flow together on stage for the first time in a while were dope while MF Doom was pretty average and Portishead themselves rounded things off with a great performance.

    The Stepkids @ Cargo
    (Wednesday 3 August 2011)
    This was my surprise gig of the year as I decided to go literally an hour or so before it started, not knowing much about the Stepkids at all. There were a few small technical hitches but the music was great and you could see they were enjoying having an appreciative audience. The projected visuals were simple but really good too. Lovely.

    Alpha-ville Festival 2011 @ XOYO
    (Friday 23 September 2011)
    I went to the second night of this London festival which had its moments, not all good. There was a fair amount of boring house and techno being DJed in between the live performances but this was compensated for by two great performances. Illium Sphere put together an expertly mixed and eclectic set that included hardcore stomping techno and Hip-Hop with no less than 3 projectors delivering visuals onto a translucent screen in between him and the audience. Jon Hopkins smacked it and got the crowd hot and sweaty with some heavy electronic beats.

    Another Honest Jon’s Chop Up! @ The Barbican
    (Saturday 29 October 2011)
    This was the second Honest Jon's Chop Up I've been to and it did not disappoint with the range of performers that were on stage. The gig was put on by Honest Jon's (a record label and store in near Portobello road) and featured a number of artists signed to or affiliated with the label in some way. This included Damon Albarn, Tony Allen, Theo Parrish, Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, Flea, Fatoumata Diawara, Cheick Tidiane Seck, M.anifest, Shangaan Electro, Phil Cohran and Rocketjuice and the Moon. All these musicians are talented in their own field (be it drumming, MC'ing singing etc.) and having them perform together in what amounted to a massive, professional, live jam session was pretty unique.

    Nitin Sawhney @ The Union Chapel
    (Thursday 3 November 2011)
    I'd seen Nitin Sawhney before a few years ago and unfortunately it was one of those gigs where the audience stands around talking loudly instead of actually listening to the music and that totally ruined it for me. This time around it was much better with the Union Chapel being the perfect venue for seated, silent contemplation of Nitin and the extremely talented people he brings together to make music with. The three female singers were all very different but all had beautiful voices and the other featured artists on tabla, drums, guitars and other instruments were no less of a joy to watch and listen to. Top stuff.
  • Mass Dosage's top gigs of 2010

    3. Jan. 2011, 14:12

    So here we are at the start of 2011 where I do my annual review of the events I attended last year and out of those 25 choose the ones which were the most memorable. Unless otherwise indicated all venues are in London, UK.

    Talib Kweli @ The indig02 (Sunday 31 January)
    This was the first time I've been anywhere near the 02 and the general vibe isn't great - chain restaurants and a largely soulless atmosphere. Thankfully Talib was playing in the small Indig02 venue which was nicely full. The venue also has decent sound which took the show to another level as you could really hear Talib's lyrics - a nice change to many other Hip-Hop gigs where the MCs' verbals get lost. Talib had plenty to say and covered a range of banging tracks that he's dropped over the last decade.

    MF Doom @ The Roundhouse (Saturday 6 March)
    The sound at this gig on the other hand wasn't great and, after a fake Doom impostor got the crowd going, we got treated to what was pretty much a bog standard Hip-Hop gig i.e. it started late, there was a bad hype man, average DJ, minimal crowd interaction etc. The only reason this stood out was that it was Doom, in the UK - something which doesn't happen very often and it was the first time I've seen one of my favourite MC's in the flesh. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't as good as it could have been.

    Souls of Mischief @ The Jazz Cafe (Sunday 14 March)
    After missing their packed-to-the-gills performance at the Carhartt store a few months earlier I made sure I got tickets for this one in advance. Once again this was a chance to see for the first time one of the bands I grew up really digging. Their new material was so-so but they performed with lots of positive energy and it was cool to see them up close in an intimate venue.

    Salif Keita @ The Barbican (Wednesday 7 April)
    No surprises here - quality African music at the Barbican courtesy of Mr. Keita and his backing band and singers. It was a tight, professional show where his voice shone. For the most part it was a sit-down-and-listen affair but a couple of tracks got some ass shaking going on.

    DJ Yoda et al @ The Kentish Town Forum (Saturday 10 April)
    I'd heard a lot of hype about Yoda, Cheeba and the Addictive TV live shows and wasn't let down when seeing them do their AV thing on stage with decks and big screens. The blend of humour, cleverly selected quirky visuals and highly danceable beats was infectious. The energy in the crowd was palpable and it was a great way to let off some steam on a Saturday night. A bit cheesy at times, but great fun.

    Sonar Festival in Barcelona, Spain (Thursday 17-Saturday 19 June)
    This was the musical highlight of the year and a fantastic festival as one has sunny Barcelona to chill in while not listening to a huge selection of electronic beats and pieces in various locations scattered around the city. We started off by checking out the Hyperdub party on the Thursday night which didn't have the greatest sound and some of the mixing was a bit chaotic but Kode 9 and a guest appearance from Flying Lotus made it a good start to the proceedings. Standout acts from the rest of the festival included: Dizz1 dropping some PHAT beats; Moodymann putting down a lovely soulful dance mix punctuated with schooling the crowd on various gems he was unleashing; the Chemical Brothers as energetic as always with a fantastic audio-visual show and TOKiMONSTA putting on a solid afternoon performance. Weirdest moment was the Sugarhill Gang doing a pretty lame set that would have gone down better in Vegas and showed them up for the one-hit wonders they are, 35 years later. Standout performance for me was Nosaj Thing - his set was as musically tight as gnat booty and the accompanying visuals were simple but striking and put together they totally floored me.

    Nosaj Thing @ City Arts & Music Project (Wednesday 25 August)
    After his performance at Sonar there was no saying no to this gig, which was good, but didn't quite reach the levels he hit in Spain. There were no visuals this time around and he ventured off course a few times but it was still well worth checking out. Dropping Snoop's "Gin and Juice" at the end was a nice touch too.

    Sage Francis @ Scala (Thursday 16 September)
    The Sage put on a good show with touches of humour and audience interaction that are missing from too many Hip-Hop gigs. It was nothing outstanding but on the whole he's probably better live than on record. Scroobius Pip's guest appearance for a freestyle session was a dope surprise.

    Ninja Tune XX @ Ewer Street Car Park (Saturday 2 October)
    Ninja Tune has been one of those record labels that has had a huge influence on my listening over the past two decades so it was fantastic to there at their 20th birthday party which featured 3 stages. This was a much bigger affair than one of the 10th birthday Xen Cuts gigs I attended in Amsterdam 10 years ago. The lineup was top notch and it was quite amazing to be able to stroll between all three stages in under 5 minutes and take in all the different things going down, although at one point it did all merge into one amorphouse mash of sounds and sights. Standout performance of the night for me was Mr. Scruff who delivered a long-ass set of funky, danceable tunes with his trademark visuals on 2 screens.

    The Cinematic Orchestra @ The Royal Albert Hall (Sunday 14 November)
    This show started off with the London Metropolitan Orchestra playing some of Amon Tobin's tracks on classical instruments. Unfortunately Amon himself wasn't there (some story about visa issues, who knows) but it was a great to hear his complex production in an orchestral setting. Dorian Concept was up next on keys which was OK, but he doesn't really do it for me live or on record. The Cinematic Orchestra followed this up with a performance befitting of the venue - lovely music to sit back and listen to, and even more lovely to hear with the backing of so many instruments and guest performers.

    Bonobo @ Troxy (Saturday 11 December)
    Closing off the Ninja Tune hat-trick for 2010 was Bonobo playing a full live set in this quirky East London art deco venue. Our seats weren't the greatest as they were at a table with a grumpy couple and were set 90 degrees to the stage so one had to twist around to see what's going on. Mental note to get standing tickets next time. The sounds however were amazing with Bonobo showcasing his impressive collection of beautifully crafted tunes with a talented set of live musicians and multiple appearances by Adreyana Triana that were the cherry on top of a great gig.
  • Mass Dosage's top gigs of 2009

    10. Jan. 2010, 1:08

    All in all 2009 turned out to be a good one on the live music front and although I went to less than half the number of gigs than in 2008, on average they were probably of a higher quality. So, out of the 24 gigs I checked out, here are the ones I thought were the dopest. All venues are in London, UK.

    Harmonic 313 Album Launch Party @ Plastic People (Thursday 19 February)
    The launch party of one of my favourite albums of the year When Machines Exceed Human Intelligence) - this went down a treat on the legendary Plastic People sound system. The bass was banging, the venue was packed and Mr. Pritchard dropped his Harmonic gems on 'em. Mala from Digital Mystikz also put down a solid DJ set in keeping with the bass-heavy feel of the night.

    Basement Jaxx @ the Roundhouse (Wednesday 29 April)
    There is is no denying that the Basement Jaxx still put on an energetic live performance, even if the tunes they have dropped recently are not quite as catchy as their earlier works. The costumes were great (especially the brightly coloured 80's Hip-Hop throwbacks) and they kept the show varied with different vocalists cross-collaborating and coming and going between songs.

    Mulatu Astatke & The Heliocentrics @ Koko (Wednesday 20 May)
    A fantastic collaboration on the album The Inspiration Information translated superbly onto stage with a mix of songs they have worked on individually and together as well as some old Ethiopian classics. It was even nicer to be about 1 meter from the stage for this one, all the way live.

    Hypnotic Brass Ensemble @ The 100 Club (Thursday 21 May)
    Hip-Hop styled braggadocio aside, these 8 brass-playing brothers and a drummer put on a terrific show. The horns were in the house and it was suitably sweltering and sweaty in the jazz basement that is the 100 club. I had seen these guys before as part of a bigger festival and wondered if they would be worth seeing on their own or whether the horns would get too much - the answers are most definitely "yes" and "no" respectively!

    K'naan @ Cargo (Tuesday 26 May)
    K'naan's Troubadour is the album I listened to the most in 2009 so I was really hyped to hear that he was going to be performing in London, especially since I've missed him the last few times he has come through to this city. Cargo was the perfect sized venue and K'naan and his band were tight. The live horns added that extra special something and the man himself related well with the audience and hit the right notes as far as I was concerned.

    Brainfeeder London (Flying Lotus, The Gaslamp Killer, Samiyam, Kode9 and the Spaceape, Dorian Concept, Joker) @ Hearn Street Carpark (Saturday 20 June)
    The grimy warehouse feel of the Hearn street carpark (sans cars) was a fitting venue for the Brainfeeder crew to touch down in London's East side. Samiyam dropped some nice instrumental Hip-Hop beats although his mixing wasn't always spot on. The Gaslamp Killer rocked out and got the crowd amped but wasn't quite as hot as the last time I saw him. Kode9 & The Spaceape were OK but didn't really make an impression on me. Flying Lotus on the other hand absolutely killed it with an amazing tightly mixed set that managed to seamlessly move from Squarepusher to Snoop Dogg without breaking the groove. My only complaint is that, at 45 minutes, we weren't given nearly enough of the Lotus. By the time Dorian Concept and Joker came on I was too tired to really stay in the swing of things so I left, only to find some idiot had run their bicycle chain through my bike's wheel so I had to get tools to separate them. Nothing quite like hunkering over a bike at 4am with pliers and a screwdriver to round off a long night.

    Seun Kuti and Fela's Egypt 80 @ The Jazz Cafe (Monday 29 June)
    One of the best things about the Jazz Cafe is that you can order a dinner and get a table upstairs with a good view of the band, avoiding the often rammed downstairs standing area. So for Seun Kuti I thought I would do things in style and do the dinner plus gig thing and it turned out to be an excellent night out. It has taken me a while to get into his Many Things album and I wondered whether he would be as good live as his brother Femi Kuti but Seun exceeded all my expectations and blew me away with his performance. He had a large band on stage, great backing singers and dancers and the afro beats were irresistable in the ass-shaking department. Top notch.

    Lamb @ Koko (Wednesday 23 September)
    I'm always skeptical when a band regroups and starts touring again without releasing any new material as most concerts of this form that I've seen in the past have been really disappointing. I've also seen Lou Rhodes perform on her own and the word which comes to mind whenever I think of that night is "yaaawn". I decided to give Lamb a chance, especially since I've never had the opportunity to see them perform before and had been told how good they were live. They didn't disappoint, Lou's voice was incredible and they played all the big hits from their past albums ("Gabriel" twice by mistake!) Let's hope they put their past differences behind them and get onto recording some new tracks together.

    Max Richter @ The Union Chapel (Friday 23 October)
    The only artist that I saw both last year and this year, in the same venue, and I have no reservations adding it to this list again. Hearing his music in such a lovely setting is superb. The only downside this time was the visuals which weren't anywhere near the standard of the compositions and were just annoyingly distracting instead of complementing it.

    Ugly Duckling @ Dingwalls (Wednesday 18 November)
    I've been wanting to see "UD" for a while now and they rocked the house with their offbeat, unpretentious take on Hip-Hop. The crowd was really enthusiastic and jumped up and down enough to generate a good level of sweat on a cold, wintry, London night.

    Federico Aubele @ The Social (Sunday 29 November)
    2009 ended on a high note with this gig that totally exceeded my expectations. Federico Aubele performed with just a guitar, and an accompanying female vocalist so there were none of the dubby, Thievery Corporation beats you hear on his albums, but it was actually better this way given the intimate surroundings of The Social. Federico's skills on the guitar were awe-inspiring and his rapport with the crowd was something more artists should aim for.

    So, it was good to end 2009 on the up, let's see what 2010 brings...


    Mass Dosage
  • Mass Dosage's top gigs of 2008

    24. Dez. 2008, 12:42

    2008 is the first full year that I have spent in London and one of the things I like most about this city is the sheer number of quality musical events that take place on an almost daily basis. "Spoiled for choice" is the truth. I managed to squeeze in just over 50 gigs this year, covering a range of genres and venues. Below I've listed the ones that really stood out and these are the musicians that I think are worth putting on your "would like to see live" lists. All venues are in London, unless otherwise stated.

    DJ Krush @ Koko (Saturday 19 January)
    Japan's DJ master put down a sublimely crafted set of downtempo, lesser known instrumental Hip-Hop that left me wondering "where does he get this stuff from?" Seriously beautiful beats, perfectly blended. Domo arigato sensei. DJ Vadim did a decent opening set, Memory9 was interesting, and The Herbaliser dropped a great closing set.

    Björk @ Apollo Hammersmith (Monday 14 April)
    I saw the Icelandic songstress at the start of this tour performing at an outside venue in Amsterdam so this indoor, seated (for me anyway) gig was quite different as I felt much more of an observer. Fortunately there was a lot to observe - she really put on a great, stylish show (both visually and vocally). The cherries on top were the appearances by Toumani Diabaté and Antony Hegarty. Lovely.

    Portishead @ Brixton Academy (Thursday 17 April)
    I never got to see these guys perform live during their earlier heyday in the 90s so for me this concert was long overdue. I don't think I was alone in thinking this, given the 10 year furlough the band had taken. They picked up right where they left off, performing a mix of old and new tracks with their no-nonsense, no gimmicks approach. Worth the wait.

    Wax Tailor @ Cargo (Tuesday 22 April)
    This was the first performance by this French producer in London and it was a great start. MCs? Check. Vocalists? Check. Dope visuals? Check. Phat beats? Check.

    Sónar 08 Festival, Barcelona, Spain (June 19-22)
    Why would anyone want to attend a festival in muddy, rainy, grimy conditions when you could be in a beautiful, sunny, cultured city with a beach? This was my first time at Sonar and I can unreservedly say it's one of the best festivals I've ever been to. A typical day would involve waking up at around 3 or 4 pm at an apartment in the Gothic Quarter followed by a brunch at an outdoor cafe and a few hours of performances at Sonar by Day in the middle of the city. Up next would be dinner at one of Barcelona's many great restaurants and then Sonar by night until sunrise the following day. The absolute highlight was Flying Lotus who dropped a blistering array of beats. Mala followed this up with a bass-heavy dubstep showcase. Tagging on an extra day to regroup and digest all the input on the beach was a fantastic way to end off.

    Mahmoud Ahmed, Mulatu Astatqé, Alèmayèhu Eshèté, Gétatchèw Mèkurya @ The Barbican (Friday 27 June)
    I first stumbled across the Ethiopian Jazz phenomenon a few years ago via a
    friend with great taste in music. This gig really felt like a piece of history as it was the first time the artists ever assembled together on one stage and their first appearance outside of Ethiopia. That this didn't happen decades ago is a complete shame, but better late than never.

    Max Richter @ Union Chapel (Sunday 29 June)
    I can't think of a better venue in London for a performance by this "modern classical with a dollop of electronica" artist. The church setting was suitably reverent and Max and the live performers did not disappoint.

    Erykah Badu @ Brixton Academy (Monday 30 June)
    It took a while for Erykah to connect with the audience but by the end she was carried out into the crowd who held her aloft while she sang directly to them. Nice touches were the weird instruments she played, stunning outfits, and the fact that she could share her opinions (political and otherwise) without sounding preachy.

    Pitch Black @ Cargo (Thursday 24 July)
    The production quality and energy of these guys took me completely by surprise. Mixing up dub and goa trance and various other forms of electronic music they got the sweat levels in the audience cranked up a few notches.

    Freshlyground, Tumi & The Volume @ The Barbican (Monday 27 October)
    A well-chosen South African double bill was opened up by Tumi & The Volume who did a solid opening set. Freshlyground got everyone on their feet and really put on a professional, top-notch show where the experience and skill level of the entire band shone through.

    Femi Kuti & The Positive Force @ The Royal Festival Hall (Friday 14 November)
    Despite the best efforts of The Royal Festival's Hall's staff, we still had a great time once the ice had been firmly broken and people got up and started shaking their asses instead of sitting on them. Femi, please come again, but next time, do a less uptight venue (my suggestion would be the Brixton Academy).

    LA Meets the UK Uptown @ The Rhythm Factory (Friday 21 November)
    A night of heavy electronic beats where the highlight was definitely LA's Gaslamp Killer who put together a vibrant set that covered dubstep, Hip-Hop classics, electro and more. Some old skool jungle slotted in nicely until edIT and The Glitch Mob rounded things off with their rowdy "glitch-hop" tunes.

    So, that was 2008 for me... 2009 here we come...


    Mass Dosage