Well. What can I say.
It was everything I hoped for and so, so much more.
I haven't enjoyed myself and had such a wicked night out in a while.
Got to say I was really hyped for this night and even did a special run of a one-off Ageing B-Boys Unite! t-shirt, too! (Hopefully I'll get some more in the new year for anyone that wants one)
There were a few moments in the run-up to the jam that caused some big headaches. Would it still happen? Would we find a suitable venue?
In the end though, it really was all worth it. I haven't had such a good time out in a long while. And a chance to finally meet a lot of people who I'd only known virtually.
Big thanks first and foremost to my two compadres from 3 The Hard Way, namely Websta and Waxer.
Previously only having spoken over the phone and Skype to these chaps I was not surprised at all to discover that they were thoroughly amiable geezers in the flesh. As was everybody else in attendance at the venue.
The first act to go on were Whirlwind D & The Assembly Worker a.k.a Solid n Mind.
If rumour is anything to be believed these guys haven't performed together for 15 years. After witnessing their performance then that statement seems flimsy at best. D's rhymes were tight as a gnat's chuff and Matt The Assembly Worker's turntable dexterity was sharp as a nail.
Next was Norwich's own MC Chrome who performed alongside the highly-talented Ill Inspired.
Now here is an act loved by local builders up and down the country for their tendency to tear the roof off every venue they perform at. And tonight was no exception.
Chrome has been rocking joints since a young 'un with Def Tex so his showmanship is absolutely second-to-none.
Talking of young-un's, Chrome introduced us to a young MC by the name of Choco Doobs from his hometown. Now this guy has got skills. He's eagerly been listening and lapping up that Golden Age goodness and it does show.
Watching Chrome perform generates a mixture of admiration as well as a healthy smidge of enviousness as he is a jack of all boom-bap trades; spitting out rhymes like a rabid canine who's devoured the full works of Rakim; cutting-up records like it's in the blood - at one point whilst on stage, he leaned over the 1200 and began cutting up over his own chorus; beatboxing; and later treating the onlookers to some fancy footwork and b-boying.
Then when he felt we weren't enjoying ourselves with just one MC on the stage, Ill Inspired - Chrome's rhyming partner - proceeded to mosey up and bless us with the hardest rhymes this side of the Queensbridge projects.
Bill's lyrical lexicons slipped from his mouth like loose spaghetti and turned the heat up to 'frazzling'. A truly dynamic duo if ever there was one. And Bill's nice on the wheels, too.
A sneak preview was given when Bandog from Killa Instinct stepped up to form a threesome. Sadly he was only on for a brief time but the fat lady wasn't singing yet.
Soon after, Bandog began a solo set. He blew everyone's minds by firstly insisting that he had a time machine in his bedroom as we witnessed the same Bandog from 1992 with no obvious physical ageing.
Then he swept into a mind-numbing session of energizing Britcore which got absolutely everyone amped.
Hearing The Bambi Murders performed live is how it should be heard always. Bandog was bouncing around onstage whilst the crowd were doing likewise literally inches away from him.
As far as I was concerned, I was 20 years-old again - however my knees knew I was knocking on 40's door and decided they needed a time-out even though I was determined to do my best Zebedee impersonation over the whole resounding 4 minutes and 5 seconds of the song.
Between the acts was Ambush who slammed on the UK tracks and threw in some US just for good measure.
Audio is one element of a good jam. The other one is visuals. The best man for the job, CrimesForMinds was on board to provide the sights for the evening. He projected video, text and pictures in a truly unique style towards the main stage so that everyone could enjoy his work and this really did add to the flavour of the night. He turned a blank wall into a magical canvas.
Also, DJ Cutloose performed a set in which he almost literally set the decks on fire. His hands moved so fast that you couldn't actually see where the wax ended and his hands began. He dropped many, many classic Electro cuts and the old boom-bap favourites all in quick succession.
I think massive props needs to also be directed at him as it was Cutloose himself who provided the sound system. Were his speakers large? Was the sound loud? Did the bass make the room shake? Hmmmm, I think at one point I actually saw DJ Kool Herc with his head in his hands muttering something about size not meaning everything whilst uncontrollably sobbing.
Another surprise act took to the stage and that was Def J aka Original One. He blasted through some new joints and nicely took us back to '92 as well which is what we all wanted. Respect to the man for showing up.
Cutloose was on the wheels again (for Def J as well) and soon after some overunning, yours truly stepped onstage. Chrome had slithered up behind the decks and was attempting to steal my thunder by dropping some wax. I rocked up with some CEB, simultaneously - and metaphorically - asking him did he Get The Point?
This began a mini soundclash as we went into some back and forth action, both attempting a game of one-upmanship.
Unfortunately he was no match for my crates of doom as I dealt him a triple deathblow of I'm Bad, Something Fresh To Swing To and Follow The Leader.
Unfortunately the ludicrous tosser management were buzzing around like annoying mosquitoes and we had to wrap it up, but not before I put on the familiar guitar licks of BDK's Wrath Of Kane.
Those that were still standing witnessed the fitness and got down whilst they could.
What a night.
I'm all for podcasting and jumping on a forum to discuss all ranges of topics but nothing comes close to being there and meeting and interacting with real people in the flesh whilst dope beats are being played in the background.
Everyone I spoke to was a sound human being. There were no attitudes.
WAXER // WEBSTA // CHRIS ZERO // LADY // CUTLOOSE // DAPSTER // STEVEB // LOIRE // BANDOG // INCH HIGH // RIDLA // CHROME // AMBUSH // DEF J // MAD MONKEY DAN // ILL BILL // DOWN BY LAW // DUDLEY // MATT // AGENT FINCH // CORRINA // LOVEGROVE // CHOCO // CRIMESFORMINDS // DAN FLUENT //
I know I've forgotten others who were there, I apologise and can only blame the copious amount of alkyhol....
(L) Websta, Agent Finch, Matt The Assembley Worker, (R) DJ Cutloose
(L) SteveB, Agent Finch, Ambush, (R) Ill Inspired, Chrome, Mad Monkey Dan (and part of Chris Zero!)
(L) Matt The Assembley Worker, Whirlwind D (Solid n Mind), (R) Chrome & Ill Bill
(1) Chrome, (2) Bandog, (3) Ambush & Waxer, (4) Dan Fluent & Waxer
(L) CrimesForMinds, (R) Mrs Waxer & Lovegrove Style Warrior
(L) Great group pic includes Choco Doobs, (R) Def J
(L) Take your partner by the hand.....(R) Dan Fluent, Loire, SteveB & the man Dapster!!
(L) Crowd reaction while Bandog is on, (R) Chrome & Repo
(L) Repo & Finch, Lovegrove & Dudley (Whirlwind D), (R) Time for a brew before the madness!!
3 The Hard Way Xmas Jam 2010
©B Hamilton 2010