Throughout 2014 DJ Oneofakind’s The Get Down began a series of shows with established international artists at The Fermain Tavern that have become some of the most popular and well attended nights of original music happening in Guernsey.
That continued on Saturday February 14th 2015 as The Get Down welcomed Blackalicious to the Tav.
The night started off with DJ Four-Q on the decks with a selection of some excellently funky hip-hop which set the tone for the night. The tracks even got a few around the darker edges of the dancefloor moving a little as Asylum Seekas prepared to take to the stage.
Guernsey’s premier live hip-hop act were down a DJ tonight so Four-Q continued on the decks to provide the backing for Apex and Jimi-Riddlz. While this wasn’t the most intense performance I’ve seen them deliver but the more lighthearted tone actually made it more it enjoyable as a casual listener.
The MCing duo delivered 40 minutes of non-stop music that was hugely impressive as they bounced back and forth, barely stopping for breath, and as the set went on the initially slightly aloof crowd began to get more involved.
What still impresses about Asylum Seekas is that there are no airs or graces in their raw lyrics, that span references from drunken nights out to The Great British Bake Off, showing a real sense of wit and invention around their chosen themes.
Without a break Mr. Thing seamlessly took over DJing duties as the expectant crowd began to fill the dancefloor and get moving. Mr. Thing was a highly energetic stage presence despite being anchored behind the decks and got the crowd involved with his selection of yet more funky hip hop.
As Lifesavas took to the stage the crowd pushed forward even further and Jumbo introduced Vursatyl and they did a few tracks themselves before introducing the man known as Gift of Gab, bringing the full force of Blackalicious onto the stage as The Fermain Tavern ‘went of’ for the next hour and a quarter.
With the dancefloor as packed as I ever remember seeing it the whole crowd responded to every call from the stage and vice-versa with some of the tracks garnering a massive reaction that even over came the huge volume of the music – when soundman Chas says he likes making hip-hop loud, he really isn’t lying!
The highlight for me came when Gift of Gab delivered an acapella rendition of a new track from the group’s upcoming album that was astounding in both lyrical dexterity and vocal delivery.
After an hour and a quarter the crowd still didn’t want to Blackalicious leave, but, after an encore, Mr. Thing took to the decks again bringing to close one of the most astonishing nights of live music I’ve witnessed in some time, both in terms of delivery and audience response and participation – and as birthday parties go, it seems Oneofakind staged quite a fine example here.