Wiley, Eskimo Dance, Proud2, London
When informing a friend about my plans for Saturday night, he replied “If I was your father, I’d ban you from going.” Another said "Just you two girls on your own? Are you crazy?"
Grime's reputation has suffered in the past due to the frequent police raids at illegal venues, but thanks to artists of the genre making their way into the charts, it’s seeing a resurgence in popularity - or at least a more widespread appreciation. This has undoubtedly been helped by Brit nominated Ed Sheeran’s rise to mainstream dominance, which saw some slightly forgotten or relatively unknown grime artists brought back into the spotlight on his No.5 Collaborations Project EP.
Wiley’s track 'Eskimo' is often acknowledged as the first ever grime track, and as a result he’s known as the godfather of the genre. Understandably, the MC's decision to bring back his Eskimo Dance night was greeted with much anticipation among fans. A far cry from a deserted warehouse, the event was held at Proud2 where security checks were rife and the huge capacity filled. Despite being rowdy and excitable, all energy from the crowd was thrown into appreciation of the music as opposed to causing any trouble.
Although not one of his own, 'Pow' was the song of the evening, played twice before Wiley performed it to an electric response in the crowd. For most of the evening about 20 MCs and rappers filled the stage and took turns to freestyle.When Wiley took the mic there could be no doubt why he's one of the most admired men on the scene, although more from the main man himself would've been welcomed.
His open reluctance to steer clear of a more mainstream route has kept Wiley out of the charts, but well respected among fans. 'Wearing My Rolex' is perhaps his most famous song, but anything resembling pop was naturally avoided.
Not only were other big names in the field displaying their ability to freestyle - including the incredibly skilled JME and Jammer (who also crowd surfed) - but it also gave many lesser known artists the opportunity to showcase their talent. The greatest audience reaction was when Flowdan MC'd over Ruff Sqwad's 'Pied Piper' .
The rough and ready nature was distinctive of a grime event, but the flow was unbroken ensuring there was never a dull moment. It wouldn't be surprising if the event became a more regular occurrence.
With Wiley's eighth album Evolve or Be Extinct released this week, which has been welcomed with extremely flattering reviews, the MC and producer is doing an impressive job of proving grime still has it's place, and it's here to stay.
tv Jenny Lee may have left, but Miranda Hart and the rest of the midwives deliver the goods
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Christmas comes early to Hong Kong, as millions of bank notes spill out onto busy street
- 2 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public can visit police’s grisly crime museum
- 3 British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
- 4 Vagina canoe artist facing two years in jail defends herself over ‘obscenity’ charges
- 5 The Queen’s speech 2014: Recap and Twitter reaction to Game of Thrones reference
Felicity Jones on being Stephen Hawking's wife in The Theory of Everything: 'I didn't want her to be a saint'
EastEnders Christmas Day special, TV review: It's all about the Carters this Christmas - and Danny Dyer is brilliant
Game of Thrones season five: First preview clip shows a beardy Tyrion, a moody Cersei and a distressed Arya
Doctor Who: Jenna Coleman to stay on as Peter Capaldi’s assistant Clara Oswald in next series
The Interview finally gets US release after Sony hack and terror threats – but reviews of North Korea satire are mixed
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Alex Salmond has 'broken his word to the Scottish people' says Scottish Lib Dem leader