Trouble Vision’s formula is one that suits plenty of London’s young ravers pretty well; a smudged little venue with good sound, full of sweaty nooks and crannies and a refreshingly varied policy on line-up. In the past, I think it’s this policy that has left me with a sense that a slightly disparate force was at work, meaning it was easy to feel you were walking from club to club not room to room. This wasn’t the case last Friday, as Toddla T and Raff Daddy launched their label Girls Music with a suitably well-crafted roll-call of today’s bassmen and women. As is normally the way at Trouble Vision it was quite difficult to navigate about the place before about half 2, as rooms, corridors and toilets dripped with droned hoards all well up for invading peoples airspace. I guess you can’t expect too much space in a club of that size, and anyway, the two main rooms worked well together, with the whole thing feeling like it’d been put together with some thought.
The night’s stand-out roadblocker was Ms. Dynamite, who for half an hour or so took Room One through a selection of tunes old and new that were received with a fair amount of giddiness. “It Takes More” was a nice slice of nostalgia, and the Miss herself was moved to a beaming smile at how religiously the crowd crowed “Dy-na-mi-tee” back at her. Rarely has such a potentially irritating chorus been so generously delivered and enjoyed. Confidence bolstered, she took some time out to tell a girl at the front to wind her neck. This girl had attempted a clamber up to share the stage, and in the nicest possible way got a bollocking from the lady of the half hour who then reclaimed the space with two massive renditions of “Wile Out” and “Boo”, both of which stopped the show.
Room Two welcomed the upfront steps of Dark Sky and Deadboy, who played up to their names nicely. Whereas Room One was dealing in singalongs, Room Two was a little darker, with an edgier more directional sound being the focus. I thought Deadboy in particular got us moving in a suitably purposeful manner and I recommend his If You Want Me EP if you fancy some spooned-out funky. His blend of Tetris audio with some kitchen surface banging on “U Cheated” makes for a busy but accessible sound that certainly worked well in the broad corridor of Room Two. He was followed by Jamie from The XX who was typically down-tempo, making as much impact with the space between his dub-tinged beats as with the beats themselves. He cut a slick silhouette at the head of Room Two, all buttoned up in black, and looked confident in his orchestration of a slightly thinned-out, slightly more serious crowd. Jamie was briefly joined by Lil J, a rare appearance from the pocket-sized MC who made a name for himself up in Newcastle a few years back. His flow was as neat and sociable as ever, as he read the rhythms nicely and lifted things during his short stint in the booth.
Toddla T himself was gallivanting about the place on missions aplenty throughout the night. Be it to hang about with girlfriend Annie Mac, who seemed to be having plenty jokes, or to play some records in Room One, “the boom DJ from the steel city” was busy running the show basically, and must have been well satisfied with the fabric of his label launch. He kept things moving in Room One with his own warming brand of cuddle-jungle, and gets special kudos for dropping Boy Better Know’s “Too Many Men”. With the Asylum Sneakers drawing things to a close in Room Two, I’d say Friday’s Trouble Vision was one of the nights more shrewdly put together efforts to date. Three and three quarter stars.
14 hours ago