Sorry to make you feel bad that you weren't there, but Dirty Canvas was an extremely heavy night. We rolled straight through on guest list like special people, then it was down the pure white corridor into a space below some stairs going up to a small bar and some tables. The venue was some kind of farty art institution, as far from being grimey as you can get, but the sound quality was impressive and the size suited the crowd numbers.
First up was Hattie Collins DJing. I'm not tall enough to look over big people's shoulders but I'm sure Chantelle Fiddy was on the decks too. She later walked past me and I have to say, is a stunning young lady. Collins' turntable skills left a little to be desired, with one track memorably being totally stopped for the next one to get loaded. Mixing anyone? Still, we love her magazine and the track selections were a nice warm up that got people gradually piled into the main space.
After the two delightful journo's left the DJ booth, it was on to a pretty entertaining MC who did his best to get the crowd more lively. His name escapes my memory, which is surprising considering he shouted out his full Myspace address about 537 times. Knowing what was to come, we sat down to save energy in a small hall between the main floor and the toilets, which were of only two cubicles but suspiciously empty every time a visit was required.
It wasn't long before the Boy Better Know guys came out of the double doors labelled 'theatre' behind the DJ. The one and only Jammer walked through the crowd to the front, and at this point a great night seemed inevitable. Jme did his thing impressively, dropping all the familiar tracks you'd expect. Skepta held it down to, but award for biggest and most energetic crowd pleaser went to Murkle Man. If ever I needed a reason to pogo dance my way to the front, elbowing anyone in my path under the disguise of poor dancing, that was it.
Sadly all good things come to an end, and Boy Better Know made way for the headliners, Ruff Sqwad. This was heavy stuff too, as they performed big numbers everyone went mad for, alongside a few lesser known tracks. There to promote forthcoming mix CD 'Guns And Roses Vol.2', they certainly delivered a nice advertisement of themselves. The only problem was, Jme and friends had worn everyone out, so the crowd were a little more subdued, besides from a couple of North London tourists who shall remain nameless ;-)
Other highlights on the night were realising I could get free pints of water after already buying about five bottles at £1.50 a go. The Plastician showed us why he's untouchable on the decks in his field, and the rise of the audience to the two times Skream's 'Midnight Request Line' was rhymed over by various MC's was pretty fun.
2am sadly hit and everyone made their sweaty way out of the posh premises. Falling out onto the same road that Buckingham Palace is on, Jammer took us all to visit the Queen who following popular trend, dropped bars gunning for Wiley. I'm joking of course. In conclusion, Dirty Canvas was in a great venue, with a sick line-up, everything seemed tightly organised, there was a great sense of fun and not a hint of trouble. I got to see Fiddy with my very own eyes and danced off quite a few pounds. If you're not at the next one… R U Stupid!
For more information check out Myspace.com/dirtycanvas