Featured Review: The Block Party, Bournemouth
Bournemouth’s dance music scene is second to none, with major DJs playing the town week in, week out. Bournemouth’s infamous Block Party returned to streets for the first time since 2015 with a stellar lineup making it set to be a night to remember. The likes of Shy FX, Redlight, Cause & Affect and Flava D were hosted in five venues dotted around Bournemouth’s city centre.
The Block Party required you to pick a path; choosing what DJs to see. So, firstly we found ourselves at house duo Mak & Pasteman. The Leeds duo have embedded themselves in the UK’s underground music scene and are always worth a watch when they’re on a lineup. The duo packed out Bournemouth’s Le Chic nightclub making sure the night got off to a genuinely good start.
Next we headed to The Bunker below the floors of Poison Apple. The Bunker has a tendency to create an interesting atmosphere with different artists, and the sweatbox helped show the talent of Cause & Affect. The Birmingham grown DJ/producer is known for his pioneering work in the Bass and Jack-House hybrid scene, following in the footsteps of heavyweights such as DJ EZ, My Nu Leng, and Skream among others. Cause and Affect certainly delivered the goods, bringing us a mix of old and new that went down perfectly with the crowd.
Heading to the seemingly odd venue of The George Taps pub to watch top British DJ/producer Redlight made the night increasingly interesting. This said, it totally worked, and Redlight did what he always does best. His talent as a producer always comes across, mixing together his own tracks, as well as popular house and bass tunes. Redlight’s many top class songs are enjoyed by all, with ‘Source 16’ and ‘Get Out My Head’ raising the night’s bar to the highest level. Redlight is another DJ from the city of Bristol, for the most part self-taught, taking influences from a wide range of interests including reggae and hiphop. Redlight has worked with a number of big artists including Mary J. Blige and has recently finished supporting Annie Mac on a run of dates in America. Redlight’s genre-blurring approach to his music sets him apart as one of the UK’s most innovative selectors. A must see in 2016 in the second half of 2016.
We managed to catch unique DJing ground Foor. The foursome come from Southampton and have managed to wangle their way into the industry, already playing some high profile gigs and gaining support from BBC Radio 1’s Annie Mac. The group’s genre-blurring style of house, garage and bass makes for an excellent live set. Hope see Foor again very soon; look out for them, they have a big year ahead.
Always producing a high energy, wild set is queen of bass Flava D. Her third trip to Bournemouth since last June, rocking Le Chic with a number of tiptop tracks including her own ‘In the Dance’. The London-based DJ is always a good booking to finish the night, keeping the party going even into the wee small hours. However, being the last DJ to finish, and the only act left on, the one-in-one-out queue to see her, left a sour end to the event.
Biggest disappointment of the night was missing out of dnb/jungle legend Shy FX. Again, because of the distribution of the crowd, the DJ’s set began whilst a one-in-one-out queue formed outside The Old Fire Station. No complaints, though, as the headline act was inside the biggest venue. A disappointment sure, but due to the amount of talent on offer wasn’t a night ruiner.
Although The Block Party offered a night of heartfelt fun, the moving venues malarkey is definitely not for me. And, although the event had to try to spread people evenly across the venues it was still difficult to get into the smaller venues with big name DJs; often resulting in one-in-one-out queuing. All in all, though, The Block Party offered a unique experience, and seeing it return to Bournemouth’s streets only confirms the town’s excellent nightlife and choice of high quality events.
Venue – 5/10
DJ/Band – 8/10
Music – 8/10
Overall – 7/10