“We RTRN II LONDON, We RTRN II JUNGLE”– Chase & Status
Guess whose back!!! I’m really excited to have even been invited to cover this event and will forever be grateful to Wired PR and Chase & Status & MC Rage. What an incredible year they’ve had following the release of ‘RTRN II Jungle’ and what better way to end the year than with one f**k off rave in London. Having been to their event at Printworks last year, I wondered whether it would be the same just at a different venue; I was very wrong. First and foremost I’d never been to Drumsheds before and I must say it really was like being back at a squat rave; the set up, the warehouse, the laser light shows and I couldn’t have thought of a more perfect venue for them to play.
Unfortunately, due to things outside of our hands, we missed the first few sets but I’m sure they were amazing. Drumsheds has a layout that’s a mix between a festival and an illegal warehouse rave. There were loads of different food trucks catering for everyone which I thought was good because most events lack the food aspect leading to very very drunk obnoxious people. Noticing the VIP area I thought I’d go and have a snoop before watching our first set. I must say I was impressed with the seating, two fully stocked bars, private smoking area and boujie portaloos (I literally screamed for joy when I saw bleach in them) lol. First set of the day for us was Bryan Gee and MC GQ. We were quite near the front for this set and the energy already was infectious. Exceptional mix of jungle classics but the one downside was there were too many wheel ups; now I love a good wheel up but it was getting to the point where it got a bit much and we just wanted to hear the tunes.
Dub Phizix B2B Chimpo and Strategy were the next set and I don’t think I’ve ever seen Chimpo live before. I was pleasantly surprised by this set; despite being to the side and having loads of annoying people trying to shove past me, we still danced through the whole set without a break. There was a negative nancy next to me complaining that “yesterday’s set was so much better” but I just ignored his negative vibes lol. Strategy kept the crowd going and engaged; was a really good jungle set which was the whole point of the event.
Bou B2B K Motionz with IC3! This set was one of those stand out sets that you will always remember. The perfect mix of a dnb and jungle set; they really took us on a trip down memory lane – well especially me who started going to events from young. They dropped songs like, ‘Gold Dust,’ ‘Mr Happy,’ and even dropped a couple of Chase & Status’ songs too. Definitely one of the best sets of the day for me.
I seem to always be missing things on social media these days so it was Emily who alerted me to the fact Rebel Clash/MC Rage was doing a meet and great. However, to our surprise it was Chase & Status as well and there was a very long line. After weighing up whether to miss sets or not we decided to jump into the queue which they then proceeded to shut off after us; as you can imagine there were many disgruntled comments and dirty looks. During the queue I met so many amazing people who I had chats and musical debates with – thank you for making my queuing experience pleasant. I’ve previously met Saul and had convo with Rebel within the last year but I was shocked to be welcomed with such a big hug; Will even joked about my whole bottle of wine which I was dragging around with me (that bottle was well deserved although I don’t think my key worker would agree) lol. I took some photos of Emily with them and of course I was too anxious to ask for one, kicking myself now for it. Honestly some of the loveliest known/famous people I’ve met.
Okay let’s talk about two of the originators of the dnb/jungle scene, the “godfathers of dnb,” Fabio & Grooverider! I mean the fact we were in the same building as these legends; the people who my mum and her friends listened to back in the 80s/90s, the ones who played the illegal raves that they went to. Now, over twenty years later I’m doing the same thing – except this warehouse isn’t illegal. They were joined by international dnb mc, Felon MC. As you can imagine this set was legendary; I just wish it was on a bit later so people would’ve come with even better energy (the later it got the more hyped everyone was). I thoroughly enjoyed myself, having a wiggle with Emily, who matches my energy song for song.
Due to the queuing we did miss most of SASASAS set although I could hear it from the queue due to the open plan venue. I thought it was really good of them to do a tribute to “fallen soldiers” Stormin and Dominator RIP. If I’m being totally honest, I didn’t think the set was anything special, seemed like a random set in terms of tune choices.
I mean we already knew this set was gonna be good. Classic old skl jungle set . Brockie & Det gave us a classic old skl jungle set with some remix’s of different genres songs like Stormzy’s ‘Vossi Bop.’ Emily noticed that the one and only Maverick Sabre was in front of us having a wiggle with his friends; of course most people will remember he featured on ‘Fire in your eyes.’ I bet any tories who attended the event got the shock of their life when they shouted out “Fuck Boris!” Nothing like a bit of politics thrown into a rave to help people choose who to vote for. This set also had the second best laser show of the day; they’re so crazy it’s like you’re on drugs even when you aren’t.
I mean the buzz was unreal as the time drew closer to the main event, Chase & Status. The room was jam packed completely, every single space was taken up by excited (and very intoxicated) ravers. Now while I was nowhere near the front, it didn’t even matter; everyone from front to back were skanking out. It was the perfect set (despite some very annoyingly unsteady people). I mean we’d all come to hear RTRN II Jungle but we were all so happy to hear a mix of songs from their past albums, ‘No more Idols,’ ‘Tribe’ and ‘Brand New Machine’ all albums that I’d previously reviewed; how mad is that?! Some favourites that were performed from other albums were: ‘Fool Yourself,’ ‘Breathing,’ ‘No Problem’ and ‘Blind Faith’ among many others. MC Rage, our favourite mc and hypeman, kept everyone engaged throughout the set as he always does. It was a perfect set, upgrade from last time. They also played the remix’s of their songs, which will be released soon. Some of my favourite songs from the album that were performed were: ‘Shut Up,’ ‘Delete,’ ‘Weed & Rum,’ ‘Program,’ and ‘Murder Music.’ They also dropped quite a few Shy FX songs as well.
None of us wanted the event to end; I was actually pretty sad. File out system was a bit chaotic as there’s so many people. Seemed like the initial taxi pick up point had been closed meaning everyone had to try and flock to Tesco or Ikea to pick one up. Unfortunately uber decided they wanted to charge £93 to get me home despite the fact I live in north London, so TFL it was.
Overall, apart from the journey home (which thanks to uber prices was a long journey navigating tfl) what an amazing experience. The first event that I’ve smiled from beginning to end, and you know what I’m proud of all Chase & Status and MC Rage have achieved. Even the security were dancing with the ravers. By far, the best live event I’ve been to in my life. I thought last years event was good but they really outdid themselves this time. Shoutout to my magical fairy Emily for also making my experience even more amazing. Also watch out for ‘RTRN II Jungle – Revisited’ which will be dropping soon. See you all in 2020!