Pop: Drum'n'bass for foodies
GOLDIE RONI SIZE THE FULL CYCLE CREW SEVERNSHED BRISTOL
Wednesday 11 August 1999
Any fears of decadence, with the smart-set nodding their heads in and out of the trough to a soundtrack of inner-city strife, were unfounded. With the food out of the way, the feel was less that of after-dinner entertainment than a full-on drum'n'bass jam, with dirty dancing, wailing klaxons and the heaviest of break beats bridging the social gap.
This was due as much to design as to the DJs. A transit shed built by Isambard Kingdom Brunel in 1863, the building has been refurbished by the architect Peter Meacock (who is a partner in the restaurant), with its principal feature being a full-width bar that can be moved hydraulically from its normal position in the middle of the room to the far end. The place is thus transformed into a large, open space ideal for gigs. Ironically, this has the effect of making an expensive and aesthetically pleasing environment look like any other dodgy dance venue. But, for authenticity's sake, that's exactly what you want.
The music was emphatically the real thing, too. Beginning with DJ sets by The General and then Roni Size's partners in the Full Cycle posse, DJ's Die and Suv, the volume of the distinctive Bristol drum'n'bass sound rendered any lingering after-dinner conversations inaudible. With DJ Krust, who followed, things got harder and weirder still, and by the time Roni Size hit the decks, the sound was a satisfying blur whose combination of beats per minute, old-school turntable-skills and genre-defying musique concrete turned one's brain into a sort of puree.
When Goldie - whose extravagant, gladhanding presence was almost sufficient in itself - took over, the beats became harder still (if notably less subtle), and the last vestiges of "After Eight"-style sophistication soon gave way to wholesale abandonment.
As the bass-lines began to approach that special mix of pitch and volume where one's spinal column appears to dissolve, Brunel's old shed was really rocking. It was great, and even with the bar back in place for lunchtime covers, knives and forks are likely to vibrate for some time yet.
Film Hollywood's new leading lady talks about her Ramsay Street days
Oscar voter speaks outfilm
Review: Broadchurch episode 7TV
JK Rowling's story is a far better drama than it is a bookTV
Art Police investigate abuse sent to Paul Cummins over Tower of London installation
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Liam Gallagher brands Kanye West 'utter s**t' during BRIT Awards performance
- 2 Isis burns thousands of books and rare manuscripts from Mosul's libraries
- 3 People who sleep more than eight hours are more likely to have a stroke, research shows
- 4 Kanye West climbs on table at Nando's to crowd chants of 'Yeezus' before Brit Awards 2015 performance of 'All Day'
- 5 Muslim women's rights campaigner writes heartfelt letter to girls thinking of joining Isis
Alien 5: Sigourney Weaver will reprise Ripley role in new movie, says director Neill Blomkamp
Madonna falls off stage at Brit Awards – and then nails her performance
Brits 2015: Pharrell Williams only non-white winner as music awards follow Oscars 'white wash'
The Reading & Leeds 2015 line-up if it only included bands with female members looks pretty sparse
Wolf Hall finale, review: Simply brilliant TV
Oscars 2015: Birdman beats Boyhood as Eddie Redmayne and Patricia Arquette win big - as it happened
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
Half of Ukip voters say they are prejudiced against people of other races
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
Aqsa Mahmood branded a 'disgrace' by her parents after claims she recruited three UK girls flying to Middle East
Ukraine crisis: 'One miscalculation, and Britain faces an existential threat to our whole being...'