Oh No Not Him - Electro Boogaloo, Stockton
Electro Boogaloo has been on before. It was conceived as a rave-style guerilla nightclub for which venues were announced late and kept hidden, entrance was invite only and the playlist was strictly devised to avoid filler. It to be an antidote on a Saturday to Middlesbrough's indie behemoth, The Empire, churning out the same polite set week in week out and guaranteed to kill whatever joy you get from a decent song by playing Jet directly afterwards.
Yesterday's relaunch may have seen the modus operandi change slightly but the logic was still the same. It may now be on a fixed monthly date at a fixed, well-known venue but it still knows its enemy. Every time a DJ plays The Kooks, again, in The Empire, it's Electro Boogaloo's mission to have a filthy Justice remix pounding through the speakers, to satisfy musical karma in the area.
It wasn't necessarily going to be a complete success though. The live act kicking off this golden new age was Oh No Not Him, a trackie-clad youth from Sheffield or somewhere, who lays down some lyrical justice over some phat beats. Probably. To be honest, before the night began we weren't sure he wasn't going to just be a bit naff. Disingenuous indie-boy hip hop. Luckily, though, we were quickly proven wrong.
His style may not be to everyone's taste and the lyrical delivery might make a hip hop purist bawk a little, however it's hard to argue with the sheer weight and quality of the beats which throbbed and belted through the small room causing involuntary spasms in otherwise polite-looking spectators. He bounded around the balloon-strewn stage with confidence and energy and while I didn't always feel the need to listen to what he was saying, there was always a mean bass rumbling underfoot to keep the party alive.
It was a short set and with just the boy and his laptop lacked a little of pyrotechnics a more fully loaded stage may have provided but it didn't disappointed. When it ended, gloriously, with a riotously lo-fi Beyonce cover, it brought whoops of approval and left on faces around the room the look of the converted, sceptical or otherwise.
The club night itself did exactly what we hoped. Compared to The Empire, where if you get a section of three or four great songs in a row you consider yourself lucky, the DJ dropped dirty hits like bombs, Clor, Klaxons, Art Brut, The Presets, Robots In Disguise plus a load others that wouldn't get a look in anywhere else in the Tees area on a Saturday night.
It wasn't the busiest of nights but these are early days. A few higher profile names and a bit of time to get established and we could have a genuine contender on our hands. Heaven knows the town needs somewhere else to go when the prospect of another night of pedestrian tuneage isn't enough to raise you from the sofa. Support the alternative.
image taken from myspace.com/ohnonothimmusic