Thursday, 30 April 2009

Bang Face all out war

Word - Reet the brain is back on and everything is calm. The 'Fear' (as we call it in the business - that's a quote from one of the dudes we were sharing a chalet with) has abated and I'm relatively present and correct. We went to the Bang Face weekender last Friday and had the time of our lives for 72 hours.

The lovely people at Fact magazine sent me and my man Craggsy. They've removed the review from the site. So check it after the photos...

These are the photos which didn't make the final cut. To be honest when you click on them to enlarge the bastards they're as blurred as fuck which sort of sums up the vibe. And I think a lot of them scream heavy abuse.

You want the flex? I ate a burger and slept for about six hours for the duration. There are large chunks I don't remember. There are large bits that I do. The journey back was a nightmare and it was only allowing a small morsels of a cheese onion pasty into my blackened and scarred mouth at Charring Cross which meant I made it home. I can also honestly say no horses were harmed in the taking of any of these pictures. Phew.

Fucking squire

Jackbeats + Toddla T

Catchin some zzzzzzzzzs


A strong look?

Saturday night 9pm


Gunshot riddim

Gabba the Hutt. That's right. Gabba the Hutt

A poor choice

Flying without wings

DJ Funk

DJ Funk

DJ Funk

Chalet action

Two pretty ladies

Bear Grizls

Here's what I spewed out for FACT...

During the 72 hours we were at the ‘neo-rave Armageddon’ which was the Bang Face weekender, one man made the astute observation that this do makes every other festival look like a picnic for little nancy girls.

He wasn’t wrong. If you’re in any way namby, pamby or fancy partaking in eating summat with more nutritional value than a rustlers’ microwaveable burger, then don’t bother. Follow the advice of a slogan regarding a certain horse relaxant we checked - ‘Just say neigh’.

Friday eve set the tone for the affair. Debauched and deeply stupid. Landing in Rye we were surrounded by ravers with furrowed brows expressing concerns about curious pooches and coppers. They needn’t have worried. The only animal we crossed when we breached the site was a massive inflatable ‘Gabba the Hutt’ lairing down as we traipsed in. And despite the ‘word’, we didn’t see a single horse.

Toddla T was the first fellow we ran into, and he too was expressing concerns. These ones were more about the large number of men with white dread locks in attendance, an opinion made while Rico Tubbs, one of the main offenders, was standing right behind him. We shot the shit with Toddles (and heard his new essential mix - in two words - maxi-hype) and clocked a number of signs on the floor of our chalet (including ‘Put a Donk on it’) as well as a tie-down t-shirt. With fear and trepidation in our hearts about who exactly we were staying with, we headed into the arena to check out what was going down.

Bass was the main thing to hear. To see were many a man with their top off moving as one massive shape to Jackbeats, who was laying down some serious squelch. For the eyes and nose glow sticks, costumes, signs (‘F**k the music I’m here for the drugs’ being a staple) and buckets of hippy sweat - it was a totally disgusting sensory overload.

We tapped into the vibe by getting bashy with the free drink tickets and getting our freak on to DJ Assault. Despite bein’ exceptionally rude, Detroit’s pusher of all things booty and bass had a room full of folk shouting along with him after he dropped a ‘progressive’ ghetto-tech classic from DJ Funk - ‘Face Down - Ass Up - That’s the way I like to Fuck’.

Out of the battle of the booty boys DJ Funk, who was playing the following night, may have had the edge. Not only did he have a pair of dancers wobbling their booties in time with his hi-hat and houseisms but he spent the time between mixes writhing around the stage with a massive inflatable cock jammed between his thighs. That and Bounce Dat Ass proved to be pant-stirring stuff make no mistake.

Other musical highlights included Toddla T on the Friday night with MC Serocee who broke up the bass chaos with slices of dancehall and Skream’s remix of La Roux. Andrew Weatherall’s last minute replacement by fellow Lone Swordsmen Keith Tenniswood aka Radioactiveman meant we got in it the neck with a cannon made from old-skool 80s electro. Zomby also completely twatted it in the Face Room, throwing in all manner of bassline and ravey dubstep.

Special props also go out to Philie-T, a man in the Queen Vic pub who dropped a load of hip hop classics from the Souls of Mischief and Wu-Tang, yet made no effort at all to try and mix, blend or chop up the tunes in any way. Elsewhere Glasgow’s Rustie dropped some of the most forward thinking dubstep, rough neck r’n’b I’d ever heard.

Cutting to the sordid core of Bang Face you have to throw yerself into the chalet vibe. We heard rumours of ketamine Olympics, Speed Dealer Moms giving up the party on Sunday and being forced to miss their set despite bringing 32 electronic drum pads, plus news of heroic levels of (over)indulgence taking place. One fella we saw was escorted off by 15 security guards who couldn’t stop showing off as to just how many beefcakes it needed to get him out of the gate. Somehow fate had thrown our chalet next door to old skool ravers Altern8. At one point I found myself wandering round the local Nisa shop jettisoning the idea of attempting to eat any food in favour of muttering about needing a hug from my mum.

But as parties go it was massive. And, as is the way with these things everyone we met was friendly, giving and always, always up for it (especially our chalet crew). We joined the zombie shuffle on Monday thinking we’d done it properly but not sold our soul to the white dreads. The only surprise was emerging blinking dazed into the chaos of swine flu. Thing is there were enough face masks at Bang Face to cater for all. Hardcore crew are immune and one step ahead.