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.
Is the comedy album making a comeback?comedy
Artists unveils new exhibition inspired by Hastings beachart
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 2 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
- 3 Satellite full of sexually experimental geckos adrift in space, Russia loses control of mission
- 4 Exclusive: Cameron’s ‘Big Society’ in tatters as charity watchdog launches investigation into claims of Government funding misuse
- 5 Israel has discovered that it's no longer so easy to get away with murder in the age of social media
Britain's Got Talent and The X Factor 'wheel on people who have mental health problems' says comedian Jo Brand
Fifty Shades of Grey trailer: First look at Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey
Orange Is The New Black season 3: Pornstache isn't coming back
Best movies on Netflix UK and US: 32 films that will end your endless scrolling
Fifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage from US parenting groups
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains
John Barrowman praised for Commonwealth Games opening ceremony gay kiss