We’re quite fortunate here, are us Londoners. Not content in living in one of the greatest cities that has given birth to some of the greatest artists on the planet, we also have some incredible music venues that often put the rest of the world to shame.
Ok, yes, we know about the O2s, Forums, Apollos, but I’m actually talking about the quirky venues that, just happens, to help make the whole gig-going an actual experience.
Last night, one of those experiences came true after Stagedoor FM took a visit to see Jakwob in an intimate gig.
Around a week ago, I received a lovely email saying I had won two tickets to see the dubstep maestro perform. I couldn’t remember entering, but the fact that I worked fairly close to the venue (St Pancras Old Church) meant we could take the gamble going to suss out the kosherness of it all. No irony there regarding church and kosher by the way!
Turning up just before 8pm (that’s when doors were due to open), we were taken aback by there only being 4 people in front of us…. strange. 10 minutes later the doors opened – no security, no-one barging to get in – a simple name-check off a piece of paper and then a quick stroll to the bar. I say a bar, it was a table, with a fellow selling cans of Kronenburg 1664 for only £3 – bargain!
Drinks at the ready, in we go to the church hall. Upon entering the room (and it was literally a room – no larger than a few-hundred square ft), we were met by a quintessentially-gothic interior. There was no natural lighting (it was night), and the church bulbs were off too. All that lit the room were some candles in each corner, as well as some mysterious bulbs-on-poles on the stage. Interesting…
We walk in and there’s a few people there already – but more than enough room for us to go about our ways to have a little wander. The stage looked fantastic. Surrounding the atmosphere was an array of enchanting, yet eerie, psychedelic sounds. Gothic!
Having a closer peer revealed a Launchpad – akin to the tool Madeon uses in his famous sets. This was bound to be exciting.
Around an hour passed – in that time the room started filling up. Going for a quick cigarette pre-show, I spoke to the lady on the door to enquire as to how many guests were coming; her response “loads”. Interesting! Upon hearing that I rushed in, eager to get to the front in order to get a good spot, clearly expecting a sea of bounced-up dance junkies swarming in. What happened was the total opposite – a minute before Jakwob and his cohorts graced the stage, we had a peer back at the audience and estimated less than 100 people there. Brilliant. Everyone was superbly natured too – no pushing, no barging… the only thing that I could witnessed being passed round was a pack of Polo Mints between friends. This was one of the most civilised gigs I’d ever been present at.
As the clock hits 9pm, the dubstep supremo enters on stage, with three other members of his ‘crew’. The candles were blown out, and with most of the bulbs-on-poles now out too, the room went black. A feeling of enchantment and mystery filled the hall; the psychedelic chill-out background music helped to create a sense of mystery.
Then the music started…. and WOW. This was ELECTRIC. Rocky Nti’s sublime vocals pierced the opening ‘Let It Fall’…. then….the beat…..dropped! The room shot alive with electricity. This was phenomenal. Remember those bulbs-on-poles? They flashed with every single beat. This was EUPHORIC.
As time went on, everything was getting more and more magical. The crowd were having an incredible time – nodding and gyrating their bodies to the beats, yet still remaining as civilised as I mentioned before. Everything was just….wow!
From open to close, this was one hell of a set. A moment that’s firmly engrained in my mind. About a month back, I mentioned that Justin Timberlake’s show at Kentish Town Forum was the best gig of my life. I retract that statement – this was. Maybe the surroundings and reality of where we actually were did that, but everything was just spot on.
Maiday closed the show with a live version of new track ‘Fade’. Hearing it live sent shivers down my spine. This was one hell of an evening – what’s more, I was wrapped up in my nice warm bed by 11.30. Result!!!
Check out the videos below – I only wish you could’ve been there with us. Great work Jakwob and co!